Curfew for mechanic who assaulted police officer in West Hill

Exeter Magistrates' Court

Exeter Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

An Ottery mechanic shouted drunken death threats, swore at and assaulted a police officer in West Hill, a court heard.

Owen Richmond, 26, of Broad Street, pleaded guilty to assault and using abusive language when he appeared before magistrates sitting in Exeter this week. He said he was sorry for his actions and that they were carried out ‘in the heat of the moment’.

The court heard how a police officer, PC Tangye, responded to reports of a disturbance during a gathering at a property on August 23 when he encountered Richmond, who was described as ‘very drunk and slurring his speech’.

After speaking to the tenant, PC Tangye determined that a number of people were refusing to leave.

Richmond confronted the officer with threatening and vulgar language, so PC Tangye walked him outside of the property.

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The court heard Richmond put up ‘aggressive resistance’ and attempted to pull the officer to the ground, saying he would ‘burn his house down’.

Up to 10 people had gathered outside the property when more police officers arrived to assist and Richmond was arrested.

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The court heard that, in interview, Richmond admitted to swearing at PC Tangye and making threats to kill him. He said he was sorry and admitted his behaviour could have caused distress to others.

Defending Richmond, Mr Peter Seigne said: “How refreshing to hear that interview summary and hear someone say it was the drink and he is sorry and generally putting as good a show of himself as he could for something quite serious.

“He had been to a party and had been drinking all day. On this occasion he accepted that he assaulted a police officer by laying hands on him and pushing him.

“Fortunately, no injury occurred and he was arrested and taken away from the situation that had the potential, and in fact did, become even more out of control.

“He dearly regretted what he did and is sorry.

“The threats that he made were empty threats of a young man who had had far too much to drink and they were never going to be carried out.”

The chair magistrate told Richmond: “You were well and truly drunk and you behaved in a despicable way towards police officers who were doing their duty.

“Those threats, whether they were meant or not, would be enough to scare anybody.”

Taking Richmond’s guilty plea into account, he imposed a curfew - to be monitored by electronic tag - in which the defendant must remain in his home from 9.30pm to 6.30am every day for eight weeks.

Richmond was also ordered to pay costs totalling £295.

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