Man spared jail after throat slit threat

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A man who threatened to slit a shop assistant’s throat with a sword, and bit a police officer in two separate incidents, has been spared jail.

Stephen Doyle went to the Tesco Express store in London Road, Buxton, in the early hours of April 4 to buy tobacco, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

A female shop assistant recognised him and knew he was barred, so refused to serve him but Doyle then became aggressive and abusive, prosecutor John Cooper said.

“He said ‘you’ll get what’s coming to you young girly’ and was asked to leave but then said ‘I’m going to slit your throat, I’ve got a sword on me’.”

The woman then pressed the shop’s panic button. In interview, Doyle was extremely awkward, failing to answer questions properly.

Doyle, 50, of Church Avenue, Peak Dale, admitted using threatening, insulting or abusive words or behaviour.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and being drunk and disorderly after a further incident in Buxton on April 17.

An off-duty police community support officer (PCSO) heard shouting outside his address on Davenham Avenue, at 10am. He then heard what sounded like someone being assaulted and dialled 999.

When PC Simon Clarke arrived, he approached the male, later found to be Doyle, and asked him what was happening but Doyle became abusive and aggressive. He struggled while PC Clarke was trying to arrest him and the off-duty PCSO ran outside to help.

“PC Clarke then felt his teeth touch his skin a number of times, including his arms and legs,” Mr Cooper added.

In interview, Doyle was either silent or baaing like a sheep, the court heard.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said: “In relation to the public order offence, it is not behaviour he is proud of. He has entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity.

“The second offence on April 17, that behaviour is explained by the fact the defendant was intoxicated at the time. It is not behaviour he remembers.

“In reality he doesn’t drink very much at all.”

He was given a six-week prison sentence for the Tesco offence and an eight-week prison sentence for the assault PC offence to run consecutively.

Both sentences were suspended for 12 months and Doyle must also comply with a 12-month supervision order and an eight-week curfew between 9pm and 6am. He must also pay £100 compensation each to the Tesco employee and PC Clarke, a surcharge of £80 and costs of £85.