Judge saves RAF career

A young Exmouth woman who threw a glass at her father in a pub, cutting open his head, after he snubbed her reconciliation attempts has been spared a prison sentence.

A young Exmouth woman who threw a glass at her father in a pub, cutting open his head, after he snubbed her reconciliation attempts has been spared a prison sentence.

Laura Mills, 23, was told by Judge Graham Cottle at a previous hearing that her career in the Royal Air Force was safe as, whatever he eventually decided to do, it would not involve a prison sentence element.

And true to his word the judge did not pass either an immediate or a suspended prison term, which would have ended her career or, at the very least, put it in serious jeopardy.

Exeter Crown Court heard Mills and her father Ian Mills had been estranged for many years and he had gone to live in Spain.


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She had come home on leave and had gone out for a few drinks in Exmouth. Purely by coincidence she bumped into her father in the York Inn. She did not even know that he was back in the country and decided the time had come to try to put the past behind them.

Her counsel, Terry Holder, said unfortunately her efforts at building bridges and reconciliation fell on stoney ground. An argument ensued and Mills threw her glass at her father, causing a cut to his head which required three stitches.

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Mr Holder said if Mills received an immediate or suspended prison sentence then her career in the RAF would be over.

After hearing that last month Judge Cottle told Mills: "I can't tell you today what is going to happen to you when you are sentenced. But I can tell you that I will not be passing an immediate or a suspended prison sentence, so I want you to know that your career is safe."

Mills, of Hereford Close, Exmouth, pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding Ian Michael Mills on November 29 last year.

After a pre-sentence report was prepared on Mills, Judge Cottle made her the subject of a 12 months community order, coupled with a 175 hours unpaid work requirement.

In sentencing Mills Judge Cottle told her: "The background to this case is that you and your father were not talking to each other and you decided the time had come to restore links with him.

"However, he did not want to know and you were gutted because your father did not wish to talk to you.

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