Ottery bricklayer pleads guilty to obstructing police

Exeter Magistrates' Court

Exeter Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

An Ottery bricklayer who admitted threatening and using abusive language against police said he felt officers were being ‘heavy handed’, a court heard.

Kenneth Cobbledick, 45, of Spring Gardens, pleaded guilty to obstructing constables in the line of duty when he appeared before magistrates sitting in Exeter, on Friday, January 8. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening officers.

Defending Cobbledick, solicitor Jeremy Tricks told the court ‘he did what he felt was right at the time’ and maintained several onlookers also objected to police behaviour.

The court heard how a police officer responded to reports of a disturbance at a house party in West Hill on August 23 last year, where he attempted to escort an abusive reveller, a Mr Richmond, outside.

The policeman was on the floor trying to detain Mr Richmond when other party-goers attempted to obstruct the officer. It was then Cobbledick got involved and started shouting abuse.

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The court heard Cobbledick was swearing at and threatening the policeman when other officers arrived and he approached with a clenched fist and told them to get off other revellers. Cobbledick was arrested and cautioned.

In interview, Cobbledick admitted having had seven or eight pints, but denied the strongly-worded threats and said he felt the officers were being ‘out of order’.

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Mr Tricks said: “He was not one of the troublemakers in the first place who forced the police to attend. He merely feels that police were being heavy-handed.

“It would appear from the statements that many of the people there objected to the police behaviour. There were a lot of people who suggested that the police behaved in a way that was not acceptable. My client was the one who said they should video what was happening. Clearly, he must have felt at the time that he was behaving in a way that was right, because nobody wants to video themselves acting in a way that is not acceptable.

“He is a bricklayer and supports a wife and three children and quite simply cannot afford not to work.

“This is a man who you can see is not going to be back in front of the court again. He is someone who acted according to what he thought was right at the time.”

The chairman of the magistrates told Cobbledick: “We have taken into account your previous good character. However, there are still two offences here.”

Taking Cobbledick’s guilty plea into account, she imposed a fine of £400, plus a £40 victim surcharge and £85 costs, totalling £525.

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