Biker spared jail after terrorising council staff at Sidmouth over parking tickets

PUBLISHED: 14:59 13 July 2018

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.


A biker who terrorised council staff in Sidmouth in a row over parking tickets has been ordered to receive help with his previously undiagnosed autism.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court showed mercy on Damien Price after hearing that his illness lay behind a history of petty violence, which put him at risk of going to jail.

Price was angry about a string of tickets he had received from East Devon District Council after his campervan broke down in a car park and could not be moved.

He was homeless at the time and living in the van but was upset that officials did not show more sympathy to his plight.

He rode his motorcycle to the council’s offices at The Knowle, in Sidmouth, and became so violent and threatening, the receptionists thought they were going to be attacked.

Mr Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said the incident happened on April 24, 2017 when Price went into the offices where a female employee was working on reception.

She was terrified after Price became aggressive during his call to the parking department and started slamming the receiver on the desk, where it bounced and hurtled towards her.

He put on his helmet and said ‘where’s the parking team? I’m going to f***ing kill them’. He was told to stop but carried on into the building and went upstairs where he tried to enter restricted areas without success. The receptionist used an alarm to call the police as Price came back downstairs. He threw a cup of water and left saying ‘I’ll be back with boys and knives’.

Former pizza shop manager Price, 28, of Ebrington Street, Exeter, admitted threatening behaviour and being in breach of a previous suspended sentence.

He was jailed for three months, suspended for a year, curfewed for 28 days, and ordered to receive 25 probation supervision by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

The judge chose not to activate the 13-month suspended sentence imposed in December 2016 for an incident where he attacked a Domino’s Pizza customer who complained and threatened a police officer with a BB gun.

The judge said he spared him from prison because of the progress he had made working with the probation service since his autism was diagnosed late last year.

He said: “This was disgraceful behaviour. You became agitated, banged a telephone and threw water. It was completely unacceptable and you should not have done it.”

Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said an assessment carried out when he was nine had failed to pick up Price’s autism, which had only been properly diagnosed when he was awaiting sentence for this offence.

He added: “He is insightful, sorry, remorseful and ready, willing and able to move forward. He went to the offices at a time when he was homeless and his camper van had broken down.

“He could not move it from the car park and he spoke to those who controlled the car park. He found them unsympathetic and accumulated the tickets, which is why he went to the council offices.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories


The Donkey Sanctuary says it is ready to go head-to-head with the best in the South West after reaching the finals of the Devon Tourism Awards.

Read more

A range of unique views of Devon’s coast and beyond will be on show when three of Sidmouth’s leading artists host a special exhibition.

Read more

A long standing men’s club that has brought retired and semi-retired business professionals together is to close after nearly four decades in the town.

Read more

There were pyjamas, bed-times stories and plenty of laughs at a special fundraiser held by the Sidmouth guides.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

A Sidmouth athlete has completed the equivalent of seven marathons in a week to raise more than £500 for a guide dog charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Don’t miss our weekly round-up of photos from our readers.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:15

A familiar face of the Manor Pavilion stage will be stopping by for lunch to help raise money for the Admiral Nurse Campaign.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A concert fronted by a male choir has helped support local projects in Sidmouth, raising more than £2,000.

Read more
Fri, 19:01

Children have spacious covered decking area outside their classrooms

Read more
Fri, 16:00

Guest musicians will join Pete Allen’s band for three concerts at Sidholme Hotel

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sidmouth Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications