Suspended jail sentence; Brixington man's drunken threats

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 27 January 2017

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A Brixington man has been slapped with a suspended jail sentence and ordered to tackle his drink problem after admitting he threatened to rip a neighbour’s head off while he was visiting a friend in Littleham

A man from Brixington has been branded a disgrace by a Judge and sent on a drying out course to tackle his drinking.

George Smith was caught on CCTV shouting abuse across a garden fence and threatening to rip a neighbour’s head off while he was visiting friend Alex Humphreys in Littleham, Exmouth.

The footage showed Smith ripping off his jacket, punching the fence in rage, and pointing a finger as the threatened two different neighbours.

He then went out of view of the cameras and confronted two men before making more threats against the residents of a third house.

Smith had been drinking with Humphreys before the disturbance outside her home in Mountain Close, Exmouth, on the afternoon of September 16 last year.

The court heard how she had a long standing dispute with several neighbours.

The series of confrontations happened as Smith and Humphreys returned to her home together and started shouting at other neighbours.

The scene was so frightening that three different residents and a visiting nurse all called the police separately.

Humphreys has since been evicted from her home in Mountain Close. She is currently remanded in custody and awaiting sentence for her part in the violence.

Humphreys, aged 23, of Mountain Close, admitted affray and two common assaults. She will be sentenced when a psychiatric report is ready.

Smith, aged 23, of Langstone Drive, Exmouth, admitted affray and was jailed for six months, suspended for a year and made subject of an alcohol treatment requirement by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

As he watched the CCTV footage shot from a camera at a neighbour’s home the Judge commented: “These are the neighbours from hell.”

He told Smith: “Your drunken behaviour on this day was quite disgraceful. My impression is that you realise that and are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

“You frightened people. You upset people and made those who witnessed this incident very uncomfortable, to put it mildly. If I sent you to prison, you could not complain.

“I am told you were going through a bad time in your life after losing your job and that you are now determined to address your drink problem. I am going to help you with that.”

The Judge also made a restraining order which bans Smith from Mountain Close for two years.

Mr William Parkhill, prosecuting, said there was a background of tension between Miss Humphreys and the neighbours which led to a series of complaints against them.

Smith was a regular visitor at her house and became involved in the dispute when they encountered two neighbours as they returned home drunk.

He stood in Miss Humphreys’s garden shouting across three gardens at the neighbours. When the resident of the next door house came out to try to calm him down, he swore at him as well.

Exeter Crown Court was told Smith ripped off his jacket and left the garden, shouting more threats that he would ‘rip their heads off’ and ‘give them a hammering’.

More abuse and threats were shouted at another resident, who also tried to intervene.

Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said Smith was not directly involved in the neighbour dispute and had been so drunk at the time he had little memory of what he had done.

He said he is a trained fork lift truck driver who was off sick at the time after injuring his head in a fall. He started mixing with drinkers while he was out of work but now accepts he needs help with an alcohol problem.

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