Soham Man Who Was Abusive To Police Escapes Jail Term

PUBLISHED: 11:21 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 May 2010

A DRUNK who was abusive to police as they tried to arrest him at a Soham pub escaped a jail sentence this week. The offence had put James Willett in breach of a three-month suspended jail sentence he was given for a previous offence of assaulting police –

A DRUNK who was abusive to police as they tried to arrest him at a Soham pub escaped a jail sentence this week.

The offence had put James Willett in breach of a three-month suspended jail sentence he was given for a previous offence of assaulting police - and that could have been activated immediately.

"Count yourself lucky you are not on your way to prison," Willett was told by presiding magistrate at Ely courthouse, Sue Griffin.

Willett, 35, admitted using threatening behaviour at the pub and was ordered to carry out an extra 100 hours of unpaid work for breaching his suspended sentence. He was fined £250 for the public order offence, and must pay a total of £100 in costs and surcharge.

Willett's speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet when police arrived at the Red lion, and he swore at officers and refused to go with them, said prosecutor Laura Mardell.

Willett started to walk towards the High Street, telling police to leave him alone, and asking if they had anything better to do.

"There were people in the pub, one officer became concerned about the safety of himself and others," added Miss Mardell.

"Police handcuffed Willett; one person said they felt safer when that had been done."

Willett, of Swaffham Road, Burwell, admitted using threatening or disorderly behaviour, when likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Police had gone in search of Willett that day, following a previous incident, said Miss Mardell.

"He was traced to a local pub, he was out in the garden having a drink. Police had asked to speak to him privately."

Mitigating, solicitor Guy Holland said: "He regrets his behaviour on this occasion.


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