Court Watch

Footsteps led police to car crash driver POLICE had no trouble tracking down Sean Howarth after he drove into a hedge in Prickwillow two days after Christmas — they just followed his footprints in the snow. Howarth had been driving to work with two other

Footsteps led police to car crash driver

POLICE had no trouble tracking down Sean Howarth after he drove into a hedge in Prickwillow two days after Christmas - they just followed his footprints in the snow.

Howarth had been driving to work with two other men when he ran off the road at 8.30am, Ely magistrates were told on Thursday.

The occupant of a nearby house came outside and was told by one of the men in the car: "Don't call the police, we know where you live, we will get you if you do," and the men then walked away from the scene of the accident in Ely Road.

"The police were called and followed the footprints in the snow," prosecutor Flynn Jennings told the court. Howarth was over the alcohol limit and later gave a test reading of 44 mcgs of alcohol in 100 mls of breath, when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Howarth, 22, of School Close, Cheveley, admitted driving when unfit through drink, and failing to stop after the accident on December 27.

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He told the magistrates: "I was on my way to work, I didn't think I was over the limit."

Howarth was banned from driving for a year and fined a total of £200 with £55 costs.

Female thief stole alcohol

FIFTY-two-year-old Rosemary West, who stole alcohol from the Spar shop in Ely on five occasions, has been given a one-year supervision order with the probation service.

West, of Colliers Close, stole four cans of lager and a bottle of wine on November 11, and three days later stole three cans of barley wine.

On November 15 she stole eight cans of barley wine, and the following day stole four cans of lager. The fifth theft was on December 2, when she stole one can of barley wine.

Ordering her to pay £35.09 in compensation and £55 costs, presiding magistrate Johnny Kaye told West: "We hope the community order will help you address your problem of alcohol misuse."

Drugs offender has quit habit

A MOTHER who stuffed drugs into her underwear when police raided a property in Little Downham has since kicked her drug habit, a court was told.

Zoe Newman was in possession of crack cocaine and heroin when detained in the early hours of November 5, and admitted being a user of both substances.

At Ely Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 37-year-old Newman, formerly of Ely but now living at Stonea Farm, Stonea, admitted possessing both drugs. Sentencing was adjourned until February 2 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Police had gone to the front and rear of 26 Orchard Estate at Little Downham just before midnight, said prosecutor Francesca Devine. Officers looked into the sitting room and saw Newman hiding the drugs in her underwear.

She walked outside and was arrested and handcuffed, and at the police station she handed over a foil package that contained both drugs. Both were small amounts, 0.2 grams crack cocaine, and less than 0.1 gram of heroin.

The street value of the drugs was less than £20, said Jacqui Baldwin, mitigating.

"She was not averse to the drug scene, she spent 16 years with a partner who is well-known to this court, and was part of that lifestyle," she said. "But she has moved away, she has a new partner who is not involved in the drug scene and has done her own detox. Things have changed for her considerably since this offence."

Broke mother stole groceries

ELY mum Tracey Hall was so desperate for her seven-year-old son to have a new bike for Christmas that she spent her grocery money on the present.

But on New Year's Eve when she had no cash for food shopping, she went to Waitrose and stole more than £100-worth of items, city magistrates were told on Thursday.

"The father of her child had said he would buy the bike, but then said he needed the money for something else, so my client bought the bike with money she would have used to buy groceries," defence solicitor Jacqui Baldwin told the court. "It was the wrong choice."

Hall, 43, of Windmill Close, Ely, also admitted stealing another £177.51 of goods from Tesco in Ely on September 9. On that occasion Hall was planning to sell the stolen goods to get cash to pay back a £40 loan from her former partner.

Prosecuting, Francesca Devine said Hall was with her young son when she stole the goods from Waitrose. She walked out with a loaded trolley without attempting to pay. When police arrived at her home, she was in the process of unloading her car.

Staff at Tesco had seen Hall walk out with a trolley full of goods that were in carrier bags on September 9. She was arrested eight days later, and recognised in a video identity parade.

Miss Baldwin said Hall had first denied the theft at Tesco, because she felt terribly ashamed of her behaviour.

Hall, who receives incapacity benefit and disability living allowance, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and told to pay £100 costs.

Man blames free bar for assault

A MAN who was described as "loving and caring" assaulted his partner in the early hours of New Year's Day, after taking full advantage of a free bar at a New Year's Eve party.

Steven Baker grabbed Kelly Cousins round the neck and pushed her, causing her to bang her back on a computer desk, Ely magistrates heard on Thursday.

Ms Cousins came to court to support Baker. "He has never been violent before," she said. "He is loving and caring and supportive towards me and the children." She said a neighbour had called the police.

Baker has not taken a single drink since the incident "because he is so ashamed and so concerned about his behaviour that day," said solicitor Jacqui Baldwin.

Baker, 25, of Parsons Lane, Littleport, admitted assaulting Ms Cousins on January 1. He was given a one-year conditional discharge and told to pay £55 costs.

Prosecuting, Flynn Jennings said the couple had returned home with Baker's sister and brother-law after the party, and an argument broke out.

Baker grabbed Ms Cousins by the neck and pushed her, causing her to hurt her back. There was some "to-ing and fro-ing" before he grabbed her round the neck.

"My client accepts he took her by the throat and pushed her into another room," said Miss Baldwin. "There were no injuries caused.

"They had been to a New Year's Eve party where there was a free bar, he accepts he went over-the-top and consumed alcohol because it was free."

Drunk man stripped off in his police cell

DRUNKEN Cenqiz Ozkul stripped himself naked in a cell at Ely police station after being arrested outside Club Zest in Ely two days before Christmas.

Earlier he had been restrained by doormen at club in Forehill, because he had been aggressive and swearing, city magistrates were told on Thursday.

Ozkul, 37, of Holly Court, Ely, admitted being drunk and disorderly and was fined £80 with £55 costs.

Representing himself in court, Ozkul said: "I was drunk. The doormen know me and I go straight in, but it was a different doorman, and he pulled me back. Because I was drunk I fell down."

Burglar claims he only stole whisky

TWENTY-two-year-old James Butler admitted committing a burglary at the community centre in The Causeway at Soham - but denied he took everything that was later found to be missing.

Butler, 22, of Orchard Row, said he stole a bottle of whisky and a pack of darts from the premises on December 8, but the Crown Prosecution Service claimed that £400 in cash, a CD player, DVD player and video recorder were also stolen in the burglary.

On Thursday, Ely magistrates adjourned the case until February 2 for further inquiries to be made, and gave him conditional bail.

April trial for man who resisted arrest

KEVIN Gale will face trial on April 27, after denying two allegations of resisting a police officer in Sutton on December 5.

Gale, 25, of Saffron Piece, Sutton, has already admitted failing to provide a specimen of breath when suspected of drink- driving on the same date and received an interim driving ban.

Man denies using threatening words

LITTLEPORT man Paul Barrowclough has denied a charge of using threatening words or behaviour in the town on September 14.

At Ely Magistrates' Court on Thursday, the case was adjourned until February 2 and he was given unconditional bail.

Trial date set for teenage assault

A MAN accused of assaulting a teenager at Mepal Outdoor Centre is to face trial at Ely Magistrates' Court on May 4.

Daniel Twite, 23, of Stradsett Estate, King's Lynn, is on unconditional bail until that date.

Affray case has been adjourned

THREE Ely men facing a charge of affray had their case adjourned for two weeks by city magistrates on Thursday.

Trevor Bennett, 30, of Columbine Road; Robert Bennett, 31, of Ramsey Road; and James Smith, 23, of Dunstan Street, are alleged to have committed the offence in Ely on July 30 last year.

Trevor Bennett and Robert Bennett are further charged with assaulting Owen Edge on the same date

Christmas assault charge for woman

ELY woman Sarah Leggo is charged with assaulting two people in the city on Christmas Day.

Leggo, 41, of West End, is accused of assaulting Fiona Leggo and a child. Her case was adjourned for two weeks by Ely magistrates on Thursday.

A £60 speeding fine was imposed on Welney woman Maureen Stirling on Thursday, when she admitted driving at 71 mph in a 60 mph limit at Needingworth on April 11.

Stirling, 60, of Bells Drove, was also ordered to pay £35 costs by Ely magistrates on Thursday, and had three points endorsed on her driving licence.

Criminal damage denied by youth

TEENAGER Ricky Hewitt has denied causing criminal damage to two cars in Soham.

Hewitt, 18, of Frederick Talbot Close, is alleged to have caused over £900 worth of damage to the roof and panelling of a Mazda MX5, and £193 worth of damage to a Ford Ka on November 19.

On Thursday, Ely magistrates adjourned his case for four weeks, and as part of his bail conditions banned him from Foxwood South in Soham.