Exmouth man cleared of charges after prosecution offered no evidence against him
PUBLISHED: 16:22 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:22 01 July 2020
An Exmouth man has been cleared of assaulting police and damaging a cell at the Exeter custody centre.
Jay Freer, aged 26, of Roseway, Exmouth, was found not guilty by a judge at Exeter Crown Court after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.
He was alleged to have spat at an emergency worker and caused £194.50 damage to a camera and other equipment in two cells after being arrested on February 10 this year.
Freer was arrested for allegedly breaking a restraining order by following a car in which his ex-partner Irena Petrova was having a driving lesson.
The police dropped that case but Freer had been due to stand trial in relation to his behaviour while in custody.
Miss Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reviewed the assault case and decided not to proceed.
She said the CPS decided that it was not in the public interest to have a trial on the remaining criminal damage matters because of the strain on court resources caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Judge Timothy Rose told Freer that all charges have been dismissed, found him not guilty and he was free to go. He was not represented at the short hearing.
The restraining order was imposed in January this year when Freer admitted stalking Ms Petrova. He had already spent four months in custody and received a 12 month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activities.
He is now appealing against his conviction on the grounds that he did not want to plead guilty to the allegations, claiming he was ill-advised.
In that case the prosecution alleged he sent threatening texts telling Ms Petrova he would bury her alive on Dartmoor and told police he wanted to ‘put her in a box and send her back to Bulgaria’.
Mr Adrian Chaplin, defending, told the hearing in January that Freer’s behaviour was the result of mental illness which was so severe that he had been sectioned for a time.
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