Jailed in first half of 2018 – The criminals sent down at Cornwall’s courts last year

From murderers, to drug dealers peddling misery, and the perpetrators of decades of sickening sexual abuse, Cornwall’s courts saw it all last year.

We’ve been through the archives to bring you details of all the cases we covered in 2018, and the criminals who were put behind bars.

The majority of sentences were handed down at Truro Crown Court, but some received shorter sentences at both Truro and Bodmin magistrates’ courts.

It’s worth noting that, although at Cornwall Live we do everything we can to cover all the court[1] cases that take place in the county, for various reasons it’s not always possible.


Thomas Kneebone

A judge said that the video interview given by a preteen girl who was sexually assaulted by a 20-year-old man[2] was “the most compelling” he had seen in 32 years.

Thomas Kneebone, from Wadebridge[3], went on trial at Truro Crown Court[4] accused of three counts of sexual activity with a child under 13 and two charges of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

At the end of the two day trial[5] he was convicted by a jury of all five offences, which happened last year.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the jury of nine men and three women that the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convinced by Kneebone to remove her clothes and let him massage her before he touched her private parts.

Mr Lee also explained how Kneebone persuaded the young girl to masturbate him.

Mr Lee said: “On her return home the victim’s mum noticed that she was crying in her bedroom and asked her what was wrong.

“At first she was reluctant but then she began to tell her about what Thomas Kneebone had done to her.

“The matter was reported to the police straight away and the victim told officers how he had done things she didn’t like and it happened on three occasions, beginning when he asked if she had ever had a massage before.”

Mr Lee explained how Kneebone persuaded the girl to remove her clothing for the massages and touched her vagina saying “it’s fine, it’ll teach you for when you’re older” and “school doesn’t teach you these things”.

He is also said to have urged and then helped her to masturbate him before asking her to put his penis in her mouth, which she refused to do.

Sentencing Kneebone, Judge Simon Carr said the victim’s video interview with police was the most compelling he had seen in 32 years.

Judge Carr said: “You were convicted by a jury of significant sexual assaults of a young girl who clearly worshipped you.

“What you did you did for your own sexual gratification and she had no real idea of what was going on.

“These were very serious assaults. The touching of her vagina masquerading as a massage was bad enough but you then got her to masturbate you until you ejaculated and told her she couldn’t tell anyone.

“You have showed no remorse for what you have done and little or no empathy.”

Judge Carr sentenced Kneebone to four-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institution and told him he must sign the sex offender register for life.

Dean Bartle

A would-be armed robber held up two local businesses[6] at gun and knife point but still managed to leave empty handed.

Dean Bartle, 30, from Camborne[7], appeared at Truro Crown Court[8] on Friday, January 5, via video link to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty[9] to two charges of attempted robbery.

Prosecutor Nigel Wraith told the court how on Sunday, November 12, 2017, shortly before midday, Bartle entered Adelaide Stores at Tolvaddon.

Mr Wraith said: “The only member of staff in the store at the time was Mrs O’Neil and when she returned behind the till, the defendant approached and produced a bag, telling Mrs O’Neil to put the money in it.

“He was holding a knife and reached over the counter with it but Mrs O’Neil ran out the back of the store into the car park screaming for help. The defendant then ran off empty handed.”

Mr Wraith went on to describe how Bartle concealed his identity by pulling a hoody over his face but left behind the bag and knife, both of which were found with his DNA.

The second attempted robbery occurred eight hours later at Mr W’s Eats & Treats store in Tuckingmill, around the corner from the defendant’s home.

A member of staff, Mr Tozer, described the defendant entering with some kind of assault rifle before approaching the till with his hoody drawn up shouting “give me the f****** till, I need the money”.

He aimed the gun at Mr Tozer’s stomach, who calmly turned and walked away out of the store.

CCTV showed Bartle unsuccessfully attempting to gain access to the till and steal a charity box before again fleeing, again with nothing.

Bartle also asked for an offence of theft to be taken into account for sentencing, relating to an incident on November 3 when he entered Four Lanes Stores and made off with two Poppy Appeal and Christmas[10] lights fund charity boxes containing about £245.

Sitting as judge, Recorder Noel Casey admitted the offences were out of character and that Bartle pleaded guilty at the earliest given opportunity even though the case against him wasn’t particularly strong. He also conceded that he showed genuine remorse.

He did however state that the robberies had a serious effect on the victims, especially Mrs O’Neil who had to take medication and is still anxious and edgy whilst at work.

Bartle was sentenced to six years in prison.

Alexander Hughes and Jonathon Taylor

Two burglars who raided homes in towns and villages across west Cornwall[11], stealing everything from PlayStations to wedding rings, were jailed in January.

Alexander Hughes, 27, from St Erth, and Jonathon Taylor, 29, from St Clare Street in Penzance[12], were both in the dock at Truro Crown Court[13] after previously admitting a raft of charges.

Hughes pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and one instance of handling stolen goods, whereas Taylor admitted three burglaries, one attempted burglary and going equipped for burglary.

Prosecutor Katie Churcher told the court how the pair accessed the homes during daylight hours in October 2017, when owners were out at work. They entered via insecure windows and doors, but one at least one occasion smashed a window to access a property.

The break-ins occurred in Mullion, St Keverne and Newlyn, among other locations.

Summarising the offences, Ms Churcher said that Hughes was caught handling stolen goods when he was found in possession of an Apple iMac computer.

On October 6, between 9am and 1pm, Taylor accessed a property and took jewellery, cash, documents, a GoPro, a drill, a laptop and a North Face jacket, although the drill and jacket were later recovered from Taylor’s Jaguar.

On October 10 both defendants entered a property in St Keverne through an insecure window and took a wedding ring and an engagement ring and a Bosch speaker.

In a victim impact statement the owner of the property said the incident had left her feeling uncomfortable in her own home and tainted what was meant to be a clean start.

Also on October 10 Hughes smashed a living room window in Mullion and stole £1,000 in cash, jewellery, a coin collection, six watches and an engagement ring described as “very sentimental”.

The victim also spoke of being left shocked, upset and traumatised as a result of the crime. Taylor’s Jaguar was spotted driving slowly around the village before later making off at speed.

Ten days later the pair entered another house through a ground floor window and stole an Xbox, before later in the month gaining access to an address in Newlyn during daylight hours and taking a PlayStation 4 and a jar of money. The money totalling around £500 belonged to a 19-year-old saving for a new car.

Hughes then stole another console and 15 games belonging to a 15-year-old after smashing through a backyard window.

Then, on October 31, Taylor was stopped by police with two Staffordshire bull terriers and found with a hammer, black woollen gloves and two multiools in a backpack, resulting in the going equipped for burglary and attempted burglary charges.

Ms Churcher added that Hughes had a minimal record with no previous burglaries recorded against him, whereas Taylor had 15 convictions for 20 offences and although none of them were burglaries, he recently completed a three-year sentence for drug-related offences.

Both men are said to have blamed each other at interview.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Simon Carr said: “You fall to be sentenced for a series of domestic burglaries in October 2017.

“The circumstances are that you both had an entrenched heroin addiction and committed burglaries to fund your habit.

“The series of burglaries targeted houses and it was clear what could be forced was forced and what couldn’t would instead be smashed in order to gain access.

“You stole anything you could find to resell and it’s difficult to imagine how low someone can sink to steal a wedding and engagement ring, which were of great sentimental value, but of little value to you.”

In light of his more serious record and the fact that he was on licence from prison when the offences were committed, Taylor was jailed for 30 months. Hughes was handed a two-year sentence.

Matthew Carroll and Rory Jeffrey

A pair of armed robbers who held up two convenience stores[14] were handed double-figure sentences after a judge said he wanted to give a deterrent to anybody thinking of carrying out similar crimes.

Balaclava-clad Matthew Carroll, 31, and Rory Jeffery, 40, both from Camborne[15], pointed guns at two terrified shop assistants before making off with the contents of the tills at Four Lanes Post Office and Stithians Spar shop on the afternoon of November 26 last year.

The two appeared at Truro Crown Court[16] for sentence after previously admitting two counts of robbery and two possessing imitation firearms charges.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how one of the men entered Four Lanes Post Office whilst the other stood guard outside.

The male pointed what was believed to be a revolver or pistol at employee Tina Chadwick and ordered her to help empty the till, insisting he wasn’t going to hurt her.

Mr Lee described how Ms Chadwick was “shocked, afraid and shaking” and fearing for her life when she saw the gun.

The men fled with £600 in cash, which they stuffed into an orange bag, also fleeing with £25 worth of spirits.

Carroll and Jeffery then left the scene before shortly after arriving at Stithians Spar.

Mr Lee added: “Jack Reeves was working behind the till at about 2.30pm and saw a man in a balaclava approaching the till pointing a gun at him.

“He demanded all the money from the till and put an orange bag on the counter which was filled with money from the till drawer.

“They made off with a total of £550 in cash.”

A mother and her 10-year-old child were also present at the time of the robbery.

Later that afternoon police found Jeffery’s burnt-out car in the village and the orange bag with Carroll’s blood and discarded clothing inside.

They also raided a business in Stithians before being arrestedThey also raided a business in Stithians before being arrested

Dean Bartle

As a result of the first robbery Ms Chadwick has suffered from nightmares, anxiety and sleepless nights and had to take weeks off work.

The Stithians robbery rocked the village and shocked customers and staff alike, according to the store manager.

Both defendants have a string of previous convictions to their name, but for lesser offences.

Sentencing Carroll and Jeffery, Judge Robert Linford said that the offences “cried out” for a deterrent sentence to be passed.

He said: “At 2.10pm on November 26 Tina Chadwick was at work at Four Lanes Post Office when you two went to the store both wearing balaclavas, one of you carrying what looked like a real handgun.

“The gun was pointed directly at her and it was demanded that she open the till. At first Ms Chadwick thought it was some kind of prank.

“Terrified and shaking she opened the drawer and handed the money over. You placed it in a bag, pausing only to grab alcohol as you left the shop.

“You both then drove to Stithians Spar shop, where Jack Reeves was working.

“At about 2.20pm one of you pointed the gun at the shopkeeper. Again, you put the money from the till in the bag and fled before a car belonging to Mr Jeffrey was found burnt-out nearby.

“Each of you have bad records, but both have been out of trouble for four years and offences committed in the past are nothing in the league of this.”

Judge Linford then described how drugs had blighted the lives of both men and, as is always the case, family members are the ones who suffer during a sentence of imprisonment.

He said that a deterrent sentence must be passed, jailing both men for 10 years and eight months.

Kieran Leverett (middle left in below photo)

A former student of the year chef at Jamie Oliver’s 15 restaurant has been sentenced after falling back into a life of crime.[17]

Kieran Leverett, 33, of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro Crown Court[18] to be sentenced via video link from Exeter Prison.

Leverett, who previously admitted 17 thefts from a shop charges and one burglary, at one point had been a shining light in the catering industry, scooping prestigious awards for his efforts at the Watergate Bay eatery that provides opportunities and training for disadvantaged youngsters.

Prosecuting barrister Francesca Whebell, told the court how Leverett, who has links to Penzance[19] and Launceston[20], exclusively targeted Co-Op stores stealing a variety of products.

Ms Whebell said: “The most serious charge related to a burglary on October 28 at the Wherrytown Co-Op store in Penzance.

“The team leader left at 21:30 on the 27th with the building locked and secured. The following morning it was clear there had been a break-in and when CCTV was reviewed the defendant could be seen smashing a door and stealing bottles of alcohol to the value of £200.

“The damage to the door was estimated at £2,000. Officers[21] attended and when scenes of crime officers began their investigation they seized blood stained glass that linked to the defendant.”

Ms Whebell went on to give details of a catalogue of other thefts whereby Leverett entered Co-Op stores mainly in Penzance (Wherrytown and Market Jew Street stores) and Launceston and left with items stuffed into his jacket.

Stock stolen included meat and his thefts often totalled more than £100.

Sentencing Leverett, Judge Simon Carr said: “You fall to be sentenced for a series of thefts where largely, for whatever reason, you targeted Co-Op stores.

“Having heard of the opportunity you were given at 15 it is particularly sad that you didn’t fully take this opportunity.

“At 33 you have been before the courts 54 times and I accept your offending has been to feed your habit but also includes breaches of orders.”

Leverett was jailed for nine months.

Seth Lee

A grandfather of 40 children who has a cannabis and alcohol addiction sped through a busy nightclub car park with his lights off in an effort to flee from the police, a court heard.

Seth Lee, 54, from Redruth[22], appeared at Truro Crown Court[23] to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to a string of offences relating to two police chases in July and November of last year.

Lee admitted to a variety of counts including speeding, obstructing a constable in execution of his/her duty, failure to stop, driving over the alcohol limit, dangerous driving, possession of a Class B drug and two driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance charges.

Prosecutor Francesca Whebell told the court how, in the early hours of July 8, a PC Mason was on patrol between junction 20 and 21 on the M5 when he was passed by an Astra van which showed up on his computer as having no insurance or MoT.

Ms Whebell said: “PC Mason caught up with the driver but when he saw the blue lights he carried on at speed travelling in excess of 100 miles per hour, officers’ patrols showing he even reached speeds of 120.

“The Astra left the M5, going on to the M49 before stopping on the hard shoulder. When arrested he initially gave incorrect details but was later found to be a disqualified driver. Mr Lee told the police he didn’t stop as he had previously been beaten up by police officers.”

Ms Whebell then went onto describe the second incident, on November 23.

She added: “Two officers[24] were on patrol in Redruth and saw a Volkswagen Passat illegally turning from Chapel Street onto West End. Forty metres ahead they saw the Passat turn backwards and drive towards the police.

“The Passat then went towards the Penventon Park Hotel, through its car park to the car park at Zone nightclub. The club was open with around 20 people by the front door when the vehicle accelerated with no lights on through the car park to the lower entrance.

“As the car headed towards the lower entrance, three pedestrians were walking towards the nightclub and had to jump out the way to avoid being struck. Officers called for assistance and eventually stopped the vehicle and removed the keys. The vehicle smelt strongly of cannabis and Mr Lee handed over a small amount of the drug in his top pocket.”

The court heard how Lee has an extensive criminal record and had served time in prison.

Sentencing Lee, Judge Simon Carr described him as “a menace” and said that the fact nobody was killed or injured as he sped through Zone car park with no lights on was “pure luck” and he was “indifferent” as to whether anybody was hurt.

Lee was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for three years and eight months. He’ll have to sit an extended test following the completion of the ban.

Peter Williams

A burglar raided the home of a pensioner and answered the victim’s mobile phone to his son before laughing and hanging up, a court heard.

Peter Williams, 37, from Par near St Austell[25], appeared at Truro Crown Court[26] to be sentenced after previously admitting one count of burglary.

Prosecuting barrister Julia Cox told Judge Simon Carr how Williams entered a property at Cliff Road in Par on July 25 last year and stole items including a TV, DVD player, a phone, a knife and a number of a number of clip-on earrings.

Ms Cox described how the property was inhabited by a 72-year-old who left his home after checking it was secure.

She said: “When he returned he realised that a recycling bag had been displaced. He then went into the front room and realised that the TV, DVD player and other items had been stolen. Stolen belongings were valued at around £800 and it was clear that a search of the property had been carried out with drawers left open.”

It is believed Williams accessed the property through a first-floor bedroom window and, following the burglary, the victim’s son rang the missing mobile phone which was answered by Williams who then laughed and ended the call.

He was later seen by a suspicious local businessman carrying a television down the road.

Ms Cox added that the defendant had a significant criminal record including a total of six dwelling burglaries.

A victim personal statement read to the court said how the man whose home Williams raided was left paranoid and scared it would happen again.

Due to the fact this was Williams’ third domestic burglary (the other two having already been dealt with), he fell foul of Section 101 of the Powers of the Criminal Courts Act 2000 meaning he must receive a sentence of at least three years.

Judge Simon Carr proceeded to give Williams a three-year sentence, also taking into account a shoplifting offence and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Benjamin Gough

A father of three young boys who stole a gun and seconds later pointed it in someone’s face[27] in a bid to secure a lift home appeared in court to be sentenced.

Benjamin Gough, 32, of Camborne[28], had been on trial at Truro Crown Court[29] accused of burglary and the possession an imitation firearm.

Gough was unanimously convicted of both crimes and he returned to the dock this afternoon to learn his fate.

The court previously heard how Gough forced his way into the bedsit of a room he suspected belonged to someone who was dealing drugs to his friends.

Once inside, Gough, who was said to be in a drink-induced haze, ransacked the property, turning out drawers until he found a softball gun.

He then fled the premises and approached a driver in the car park outside requesting a lift home.

When the driver refused Gough brandished the gun and pointed at the driver demanding he changed his mind.

Gough was later arrested.

Sentencing Gough, Judge Simon Carr, said: “You have been convicted of two serious offences and although the background of this case is not entirely clear, the effects are.

“For whatever reason you went to a bedsit type accommodation for those with addiction problems and a degree of vulnerability.

“You went there because a friend said there was someone there selling drugs. You got drunk first and anyone watching the CCTV footage can see how out of control you were.

“You kicked doors, ripped a bar off the wall and forced your way into the room of an entirely innocent person. You then ransacked the room and found an imitation firearm. You could not resist taking what you found.

“If that was not bad enough you left the premises and went to a nearby car park. You went up to a man you did not know and demanded a lift home. When he refused you pointed the gun at him which must have been terrifying for him.”

Judge Carr added that Gough continued to shout abuse at the man, but he acted “largely out of drunken stupidity”.

Judge Carr sentenced Gough to 12 months in prison of which he must serve half.

Catherine Barnes

A burglar brazenly strolled into an occupied home and stole cash[30] before looking the home owner in the eye and running out.

Long-term drug user Catherine Barnes, 37, formerly of Perranporth[31] and Camborne[32], appeared at Truro Crown Court[33] to be sentenced after admitting one charge or burglary along with two thefts.

Prosecuting barrister Gareth Evans told the court how in Newquay[34] on July 12, 2017, her victim was in the lounge socialising with his friends when Barnes happened to walk past.

Barnes entered the ground floor room through a partially opened window and, when the man heard a noise and went to inspect the room, she stepped out and left via the front door.

Mr Evans said: “When the man went and checked in the wardrobe he found that £100 was missing. Police were called and enquiries were made. Fortunately CCTV covered a part of the building and showed the defendant walking past the house before turning and going back.

“She then lifted the partially opened window and climbed in before leaving by the front door. Two minutes later she returned and climbed in again before leaving, followed by the victim.

“Fingerprints were found at the point of entry an Ms Barnes was arrested. She told police she took the money to buy drugs.”

Mr Evans also told the court how on June 27 of last year Barnes went into Goonhavern Stores and lied to a cashier about being due a refund despite not having a receipt. She eventually left with alcohol worth £18.

On the evening of September 26 at Tesco in Redruth[35], Barnes was caught on CCTV selecting a number of items before proceeding to stuff some of them into a shoulder bag and paying for the others prior to leaving the store. She was caught on CCTV concealing some of the items and told police: “I went in and saw some things I couldn’t afford.”

Judge Carr said: “You broke into a property and stole cash and the aggravating feature is that people were present on the premises at the time.

“I accept you have a long and entrenched battle with heroin but you have been before the courts on a number of occasions including for two other domestic burglaries in 2011 and 2014 and on each occasion the court took the exceptional course of a suspended sentence to try an assist you.

“You failed to comply with each suspended sentence and since then other crimes have been committed.

“I acknowledge you have tried to address the demons that have bothered you for so long but the sad feature is that drug addiction is nearly always the reason behind domestic burglaries.”

Judge Carr then proceeded to sentence Barnes to 30 months in prison, of which she must serve half.


Regan Kemp

A fresh-faced teenager[36] described by a judge as “a one-man crime wave” appeared in court to be sentenced for six weeks’ worth of offending that saw him steal cars and number plates and try to lose police officers during a high-speed chase on country roads.

Regan Kemp only turned 19 last December but appeared at Truro Crown Court[37] after previously admitting a total of 17 offences that took place between mid-July and the end of August last year.

Prosecuting barrister Julia Cox described how Kemp, previously of Cunnack Close in Helston[38] and an address in Newquay[39], would steal number plates from cars and then attach them to similar vehicles that he stole in an effort to avoid detection.

Miss Cox outlined each of Kemp’s admitted offences to Judge Linford, taking each crime in chronological order.

On July 14 Kemp stole plates belonging to Ian Smith, who left his BMW parked on his drive in Newquay while he visited family in Coventry. He received a call from his mother-in-law on July 20 explaining that the plates were missing.

On July 18 Soloman Matthews noticed that his distinctive white BMW had been taken. The vehicle was later recovered at Cunnack Close with the number plates belonging to Mr Smith attached. Mr Matthews’ number plates were found in the footwell.

While driving the stolen BMW Kemp visited the Shell filling station in Hayle[40] and made off without payment after filling up the car.

On July 31 Alistair Schneider, who lived near to the defendant, noticed his £7,000 Citroen Picasso had gone missing. He couldn’t find the keys and it appeared someone had entered his property through the bathroom window and stolen them before making off with the vehicle.

On the afternoon of August 1, Michael Symons noticed that his number plates had been stolen in Camborne[41] as he travelled to the town’s library. On August 7 Mr Symon’s daughter-in-law saw the defendant driving a Citroen Picasso (belonging to Mr Schneider) with My Symons’ plates attached using duct tape.

Kemp was followed to Redruth[42] Tesco, where he was detained and Mr Schneider was able to identify the Picasso as his vehicle, albeit with about £2,000 worth of damage inflicted. His number plates were found discarded in a verge.

Number plates belonging to a Renault Kangoo owned by John Read were stolen in Camborne on August 26, a day after Tracey Thorpe, of Helston, noticed her Nissan Qashqai had gone and its keys were not on the table.

Following a social media campaign Kemp was identified as having driven the stolen vehicle, and fleeing without paying for fuel at Pool Morrisons while doing so.

On August 29 or 30 a Jaguar XF belonging to David Hickey was stolen from his drive in Helston with keys taken from inside the property. On August 30 plates were stolen from Tina Moran while her car was parked in Lanner.

Moving on to the dangerous driving, Miss Cox detailed how the chase unfolded while Kemp drove the vehicle stolen from Mr Hickey, which had Ms Moran’s plates attached.

She said: “At 9.20pm the defendant drove to Morrisons in Pool and filled with fuel before leaving the forecourt without paying. Police saw the vehicle driving towards Helston, officers saying it shot past them at speed. They tried to get close to him but couldn’t and despite repeated attempts to stay with the vehicle, officers couldn’t do so.

“At around 11pm he reached speeds of up to 80mph driving past the village pub in Crowntown and continued towards Helston at as high a speed as 100mph.

“A ‘stinger’ device was deployed but the defendant avoided it by driving the wrong way around two roundabouts. He continued without stopping through a residential area on the wrong side of the road and accelerated towards Falmouth[43], again reaching 100mph.

“Police then lost sight of the vehicle, but located it at West Close in Helston where it mounted a kerb and smashed into a garden wall.”

A visibly dejected Kemp was given a 37-month prison sentence and a three-year driving ban.

Christopher Gillard (not sentenced at Truro)

A sex offender from Cornwall[44] was jailed for abusing children in West Malling during the 1980s and 1990s.

Christopher Gillard abused victims as young as three years old over a period spanning more than a decade. A Kent Police investigation began in December 2015 after one of his victims came forward. Enquires led to the discovery he had targeted and assaulted a further three children. Gillard had carried out the abuse on multiple occasions in the 1980s and 1990s during a time he had been living in Sittingbourne, but also had connections to West Malling.

Now aged 64 and formerly of Penscombe Cross, Lezant, Launceston[45], Gillard was charged with eight counts of indecent assault.

He had initially denied any wrongdoing, telling police he had simply been ‘play fighting’ with his young victims. However at Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty to five of the charges. The other three charges were ordered by the judge to remain on file. On Thursday, February 8, Gillard was sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment.

Detective Constable Becky Taft said: “Gillard manipulated and abused children for his own gratification and they will live with these memories for the rest of their lives. I would like to thank the victims for helping us ensure he has now faced justice.

“Their bravery and courage in coming forward has demonstrated, once again, that it is never too late to report abuse to police. If you have been a victim of any sexual offence we will always treat any information with the upmost confidence and sensitivity.”

Jason Reynolds

A serial criminal threatened to kill officers and pointed a gun at them[46] in a two-hour standoff with armed police at his mother’s house.

Jason Reynolds’ mother called the police as his behaviour became increasingly erratic and he started shouting and swearing at the armed officers who arrived and soon spotted him darting between rooms and arming himself with an air rifle.

Reynolds, 48, who previously lived at Bluebell Way in Launceston[47], was at Truro Crown Court[48] on February 22 to be sentenced for two offences.

As well as the armed siege in his parents’ home, Reynolds was also punished for one charge of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) when he punctured a neighbour’s lung following a dispute about being called “a nonce”.

Prosecuting barrister Julia Cox said that during the early hours of October 7, 2017, police were called to Reynolds’ parents’ home in Launceston where he was living at the time.

She said: “Police[49] were called to the address where Reynolds was then living after his mother noticed a significant escalation in his behaviour while being aware that he had an air rifle in his bedroom.

“When armed police arrived the defendant shouted ‘f*ck off you c*nts and his behaviour changed from calm to aggressive. PC Hannaford noticed the defendant disappearing back and forth from the stairs and realised that he had armed himself with an air rifle after seeing a green light and the barrel of a weapon appearing above the bannister.”

Officers then withdrew to a safer position before Reynolds pointed the gun towards them and a Taser was deployed. The stand-off lasted for two hours and featured numerous threats to kill police and the use of a negotiator. Reynolds was eventually found lying on the floor upstairs complaining of a back injury.

Miss Cox told the court how the GBH charge related to an incident in Tavistock in September 2016 when the defendant attacked Jason Price.

She said: “The two men had been living in the same block of flats for 18 months. At about 6pm Mr Price left his home as the defendant was also leaving his flat.

“A neighbour, Kevin Barnes, heard Mr Reynolds say ‘I’m not a nonce’ although Mr Price denies ever calling Mr Reynolds that term. The defendant approached Mr Price with his arms out punching towards him, landing blows on his body before the two men fell to the floor with Mr Reynolds on top of Mr Price.

“Mr Price said he was having trouble breathing and effectively surrendered. The defendant eventually got off and Mr Price called the police. He went to Derriford Hospital (Plymouth) where a punctured lung was identified and a chest drain inserted.”

Miss Cox added that Mr Price’s vulnerabilities had been exacerbated by the incident and he now spent most of his time sitting in his flat.

It was noted that Reynolds had numerous convictions but nothing of this severity.

Sentencing Reynolds, Judge Carr said that if anybody was under the impression that air rifles don’t look like real guns they should look at Reynolds’ weapon and imagine what it would be like to have that pointed at them.

Despite “accepting the challenges and difficulties” that Reynolds faced Judge Carr sentenced him to four years in prison of which he must serve half.

James Keane

A drug dealer who was caught with high-purity cocaine[50] with a street value of more than £10,000 was sentenced in front of an army of supporters.

James Keane, 27, of Vicarage Gate in St Erth near Hayle[51], appeared at Truro Crown Court[52] on Tuesday (February 27) where he admitted a variety of charges relating to the supply of drugs.

Keane pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, two counts of possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply and possession of a Class C drug.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Coombe told the court how on September 29 of last year Devon and Cornwall Police[53] officers executed a search at the home he shared with his partner and found 94.8 grammes of 94% and 95% pure cocaine divided into a number of quantities which Mr Coombe said could be worth as much as £11,250 when sold on the street.

Officers also found cutting agent – a chemical used to dilute the drug – and other paraphernalia as well as £2,110 in cash and 5.7 grammes of cannabis.

He was then bailed and on January 26 of this year police again raided the property, this time finding 108.5 grammes of cannabis and £3,500 in cash as well as scales with traces of cocaine, plastic bags and deal lists.

Sentencing Keane, Judge Carr said: “On September 29 a search warrant was executed and a significant amount of high purity cocaine was found along with associated paraphernalia.

“You were released on police bail and one would have thought this was a wakeup call but instead you continued to deal, although I accept this time purely in cannabis.”

Judge Carr then handed Keane a four-year prison sentence, much to the dismay of his partner who left the court in hysterics. She was comforted by his many friends and family members who attended the hearing.

Jasmine Hill

Jasmine HillJasmine Hill

Alexander Hughes and Jonathon Taylor

A transgender woman who claimed she was raped twice[54] – including once by a fellow prisoner in her cell at HMP Exeter – admitted she made it all up.

A court heard the 21-year-old pre-op transsexual made the false claims of rape before she was sentenced for sexual offences against underage teenage boys.

Jasmine Hill, from Cornwall[55] but of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro[56] Crown Court by video link where she pleaded guilty to two charges of perverting the course of justice.

The court heard how she was sentenced to four and half years in prison in February 2017. Hill had admitted pretending to be a teenage girl on Facebook[57] to target underage boys whom she groomed to send her explicit sexual images of themselves.

At that time she pleaded guilty to inciting a child to perform sexual acts, breaching a sexual harm prevention order and possessing indecent images of a child.

Heather Hope, prosecuting, said the false allegations of rape happened before Hill was sent to prison last year. The first dated back to 2015 while the second was made in 2016, while she being held on remand at HMP Exeter ahead of her court case.

Ms Hope said Hill gave detailed descriptions to the police, including of how she was raped in her cell at the men’s prison.

She said both the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were each arrested by police, questioned and intimately examined. Police then spent considerable time investigating each allegation. In both cases, Ms Hope added, CCTV footage backed up their alibis and proved that neither men could have raped Hill.

Addressing Hill, Judge Carr said: “I accept the very real challenges you faced in your childhood and the very serious challenges you have today, which for many would be met with sympathy.

“However, you are extremely manipulative and will fabricate stories that are simply not true, in order to further your cause.”

He said it was found at the court case last year that Hill posed a substantial risk of significant harm to children, although he acknowledged the false rape allegations related to adults.

Judge Carr added: “Both of these offences are extremely serious and both require a period in custody of a considerable time.”

For each offence, Hill was sentenced to two years in prison to run consecutively, a total of four extra years.

Hill was sent back to prison to complete her current extended jail sentence, which had been imposed in February last year. When she is judged safe to be released by the prison authorities, she will then serve the extra four years in prison.

Connor Warren

Two dim-witted burglars – one of whom was armed with a stun gun[58] – raided a town council chamber in Cornwall[59] even stopping to pinch a ceremonial chain and medallion before being found hiding in undergrowth nearby.

Connor Warren, 20, and Duncan Withey, 32, both of St Budeaux in Plymouth[60], appeared at Truro Crown Court[61] to be sentenced for raids they carried out at the Saltash Guildhall and Forder Community and Conservation Association Hall on the night of April 25/26 last year.

Among the items stolen from the buildings were the ceremonial chain and medallion, a wooden gavel, a laptop coomputer, mobile phone, cash box containing £58, drill bits, die cast models worth £1,000, speakers, three microphones and cables.

Withey was sentenced for two counts of burglary and two drugs possession offences when he was found with cannabis and diazepam. Warren was dealt with for burglary, aggravated burglary and possession of a prohibited weapon (the stun gun).

Prosecuting barrister Julia Cox said the pair gained access to the Forder Community and Conservation Association Hall and carried out a full search for anything worth stealing. They then made their way to the guildhall transporting the items already stolen in a wheelbarrow.

When they gained access to the guildhall by breaking a window the pair triggered an alarm and were then seen at the scene by an attending member of staff.

Withey was found by police hiding in bushes five metres from the broken window whereas a drunk Warren was found in undergrowth. Warren told police he picked up the stun gun inside the building, although council staff said there had never been such a weapon present there.

Both men were found with the stolen items and keys belonging to the council.

Miss Cox said glass was found all over the guildhall and fire extinguishers had been used to smash a window. The crime caused significant disruption to the council which had to close the following morning while the clean-up operation took place.

Sentencing the burglars, Judge Carr said a large amount of items were smashed and damage caused for no reason.

Addressing Warren, Judge Carr said while he accepted the challenges he has faced, the chances given to him by the courts had now come to an end.

He told Withey that even though he had been out of trouble for 10 years he must take responsibility for getting a younger person involved.

Withey was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years whereas a furious Warren was sentenced to four years in prison, reflecting the charge relating to the stun gun.

Withey must also complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and abide by a three-month 7pm to 7am curfew.


Jobe Clemow

A teenager who stabbed a boy in the back before admitting to the crime on Facebook was finally sentenced[62].

Jobe Clemow, otherwise known as Jobe Williams, turned 17 on March 6 and was told his fate the day before his birthday by Judge Simon Carr in courtroom two at Truro Crown Court[63].

Clemow went on trial in January, when he was convicted of wounding with intent relating to the incident on July 27, 2017. The court heard that a 14-year-old boy was lured to a spot in Truro[64] where the masked defendant stabbed him in the back with a knife before admitting to his crime on Facebook.

Clemow, who previously lived in Truro, had admitted inflicting the wound and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful wounding, but claimed he acted in self-defence after being rugby tackled and that he forgot he was holding the knife[65] when he struck the blow.

However the jury took just two hours to dismiss that version of events[66].

Clemow had originally been protected by an automatic court order meaning that he could not be named however Cornwall Live[67] applied to have it lifted, arguing that the public interest in the case outweighed the rights of the defendant. Judge Carr agreed and lifted his anonymity.

During the trial prosecuting barrister Brian FitzHerbert told the jury how the incident took place at Trelander estate on the evening of July 27 last year.

Opening the case, Mr FitzHerbert said: “The 14-year-old was attacked[68] by someone wearing a black mask and in the course of the attack was stabbed just below the shoulder blade, although he didn’t immediately realise he had been stabbed.

“He was taken to hospital and, although he suffered potentially life-threatening injuries (a collapsed lung), he has since recovered.”

Mr FitzHerbert added: “At 7.30pm the victim was with some of his friends and a girl asked him to come outside and come around the corner as she wanted to talk to him. But once around the corner she said she couldn’t remember what she wanted to say and left.

“The victim then saw a person waiting for him wearing tracksuit bottoms, a hoody and a black facemask. The person then ran at him and punched him in the side of the head before the victim felt a blow to his back.

The attacker[69] was then heard to say, ‘what you chatting blud?’ and ran off.”

The victim, who cannot be named due to his age, then noticed a substantial wound before the emergency services were called to what were initially feared to be life-changing injuries.

Mr FitzHerbert said: “As the victim was taken out to the ambulance he heard (someone associated with the defendant) say ‘as soon as you’re out of hospital you’ll go back in again’.

“The victim said he knew who the attacker was as he recognised his voice and build and had seen him wearing the mask before.”

Clemow was also said to have posted a message on Facebook which read: “About all the rumours. I did do it, but had my reasons and will stand my ground.”

Mr FitzHerbert also described how a member of Clemow’s family said he returned at about 6.30pm to ask for a black hoody before leaving again. A man known to Clemow opened his door to him at about 8.45pm when he said: “I’ve just stabbed someone, what do I do?”

The man told Clemow to hand himself in and when asked where the knife was, his reply was: “I dashed it in a garden.”

Damp clothes were found nearby and the prosecution called on the testimony of a social worker who had a conversation with Clemow in October before he was arrested for a second time.

He was alleged to have told her that he had “planned on stabbing him for a while” as the victim sexually assaulted one of his friends. He was also said to have claimed that he had three knives on him on the night of the stabbing, but one folded on impact.

The girl who led the victim to his fate was previously given a 12-month intense referral order taking into account all of her offending, meaning she must continue to work with various agencies to address her behaviour. Her anonymity remains in place.

Clemow, who had been incarcerated at Bridgend young offenders’ unit HMP Parc since his arrest, was due to attend the hearing in person but due to more logistical problems was sentenced via video link, something which Judge Carr was initially reluctant to do.

Clemow was given a two-year detention and training order. The order is a custodial sentence for 12 to 17 year olds. It combines detention with training and is used for young people who commit a serious offence or commit a number of offences. Half of the sentence will be spent in custody and the other half will be supervised by the Youth Offending Team out in the community.

Detective Constable Joel Brown said: “Knife crime will always be taken seriously by Devon and Cornwall Police[70] and the sentence from the court today should send a clear message that, regardless of age, you are likely to face imprisonment if you carry or use a knife in public.

“I would like to thank the victim and the witnesses for the bravery displayed throughout this investigation.”

Jamie Lee

An ex-boyfriend wormed his way back into his former partner’s life before beating her, stealing her phone and posting revealing photograph[71]s on Facebook.

Jamie Lee, 25, appeared at Truro Crown Court[72] to be sentenced after admitting an array of crimes which concerned shocking behaviour towards two separate female victims in Bodmin[73] and in Somerset.

Lee, of Church Gardens, Glastonbury, stalked one of his former partners and shared revealing photographs after a two-week relationship broke down and was violent and threatening towards the other woman, again posting private images.

He was sentenced by resident judge Robert Linford for stalking, breaching a restraining order, two criminal damage charges, making threats to kill and disclosing a private revealing or sexual photograph.

The first stalking offence occurred in Taunton in May of last year after the defendant had a two-week relationship with the victim.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Coombe described how, when the woman woke him up from a sleep as requested, he threatened to “put her in a body bag” resulting in the ending of the relationship.

Despite the break-up he proceeded to follow her and her friend to the gym, throwing objects at the car as they sat in stationary traffic.

Lee then continued to drive around after the victim, calling her at work, throwing stones at her window and smearing barbecue sauce over her car. He then put an intimate photograph of her on Facebook and sent it to her former boyfriend.

The victim withdrew the evidence following pressure from Lee but even after doing so he continued what Mr Coombe described as “a campaign of persecution against her”, issuing further threats such as parking outside her house and texting her while she was in sight saying “only a matter of time, late at night ;)”.

Lee was then bailed and made his way to Bodmin after he contacted the second victim, with whom he’d been in a relationship with previously from when she was aged 15.

Mr Coombe outlined the violent nature of their previous relationship, describing how Coombe assaulted her and dragged her to the floor by her hair, resulting in a restraining order being put in place. Despite the restraining order Lee got in touch with the victim on Instagram in October 2017 and sent her a video of him self-harming and threatening to kill himself.

Mr Coombe said: “The victim drove him to Cornwall[74] and dropped him to a friends, allowing him back into her life as she was scared he would kill himself.

“The defendant found out from a friend where she lived visited regularly, pressurising her to allowing him stay. There was then a rapid deterioration of the defendant’s behaviour as he was regularly under the influence of cocaine and cannabis.”

Mr Coombe then listed examples of Lee’s terrifying behaviour over a month-long period beginning with how he pinned her to a wall when she wanted to go and see her friends. He then became obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Elliot, slapping her four to six times during one grilling about him.

Mr Coombe added: “On December 13 the defendant was told to leave but returned a little later and entered the flat after kicking a door. A day later he brought up the subject of Elliot again and slapped the victim in the face before taking her phone and telling her mother that her daughter ‘was a slag’.

“On the Thursday he slapped her again, pinning her to the wall by her throat before taking a chunk out of the door by throwing a toy at it.”

The victim was then slapped in the face again, this time while wrapping Christmas presents, before Lee took her phone warning that either her or Elliot was going to die.

Lee threatened the victim with a baton, as well as warning he’d stab her in the throat, before using her phone to send a nude picture to some of her contacts.

The petrified defendant managed to flee to a family member’s home before attending a police station. The defendant later turned up at the property before police[75] arrested him and found him with the baton and the defendant’s phone and bank cards.

On December 19 he also sent semi-naked photos of the girl to some of her friends.

Sentencing Lee, Judge Robert Linford made reference to the fact he had an extensive criminal record and committed the offences in breach of a suspended sentence and, in the case of the second victim, while on bail.

Judge Linford said Lee “abused, followed, threw objects at and threatened” the first victim and “thought not for one moment of the suspended sentence imposed”.

Moving on to the second victim in Bodmin, Judge Linford added: “You were in a relationship for a number of years. She admitted being in contact with you but was scared of you and for good reason.

“You threatened her and used violence against her and she was petrified of you. You have had a large number of difficulties in your life, some of which are not your fault. You have come off the drugs that have blighted your life for so long and accepted that you have issues to address.”

Lee was jailed for a total of 31 months and made subject of a new restraining order.

Caroline McNeill

A woman disabled two smoke alarms and started fires in an occupied block of flats[76] in an attempt to kill herself, causing £30,000 worth of damage in the process.

Caroline McNeill, 51, of Market Street in Hayle[77], appeared at Truro Crown Court[78] on Friday, March 9, to be sentenced after previously admitting one charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered on August 10,2017.

Prosecuting barrister Ian Graham told the court how the defendant and her daughter lived on the same floor in the Chy Tree block of five flats spread across three floors.

Mr Graham said: “All of the occupants were in their flats at around 10pm and earlier in the evening residents heard an argument from flats three and four. On going to bed one resident heard a smoke alarm and when he went upstairs to investigate the defendant came out covered in black soot with burns on her feet.

“The fire service was called and all flats were evacuated. Firefighters[79] observed and extinguished two small fires in Ms McNeill’s flat set near the door and in the lounge.”

The two areas of burning were no more than one square metre and a plastic stool was found that it is suspected was used by McNeill to disable the smoke alarms.

The alarms were found hanging down and fire investigators said that there “was a determined effort to set the flat alight” and that the fires “represented a real danger to occupants in the flats”.

McNeill was then treated at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth[80] for burns and the damage caused to the flat totalled £30,000.

Sitting as judge, Martin Meeke, QC, said the offence was aggravated by the fact that the other occupants in the block of flats were in bed when the fires were started and the incident could have led to a loss of life.

Mr Meeke jailed McNeill for five years.

Martin Rowe

A courageous woman who was subjected to a torrent of sickening sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 15 at the hands of a former Army corporal has spoken of the torment of having to carry a secret that ate away at her for decades.

Spontaneous applause broke out around courtroom one at Truro Crown Court[81] on Wednesday, March 14, after Judge Robert Linford jailed Kosovan war veteran Martin Rowe[82] for 11 years.

The sentence will begin to run once the peadophile completes an existing eight-year sentenced handed to him at Swindon Crown Court for abusing a seven-year-old girl and taking pictures of the acts on his mobile phone.

The Truro[83] courtroom was packed with the victim’s friends and family and she has since welcomed the sentence, saying it allowed her to finally open a new chapter in her life.

Rowe, formerly of Bodmin[84], previous admitting charges of rape, three indecent assaults and indecent activity with a child in the 1980s and 1990s.

The victim, who is guaranteed anonymity for life by law, said: “I feel relieved I no longer have to carry this secret. This is 100% a new chapter for me and I can move forward and never have to face him again. For the last 20 years I would never know when he would come home (from overseas) and pretend to be my friend to everyone else.

“I carried my secret and buried it to the core. It affects your whole life. It is hard and I convinced myself that I never would get justice.

“Today was a massive day for me. I can now more forward and know it’s not eating away at my anymore. I feel a totally different person.”

She said she learned to adopt a “hard exterior” and caught Rowe looking at her out of the corner of his eye during the hearing before he quickly looked away.

She added: “I had to find the inner strength or else I wouldn’t be here today. He abused me for nine years and in my adult life I started drinking heavily. Then I vowed that he took my childhood away so I had to deal with it so he wouldn’t take any more of my life away.

“I’m hoping others will now come forward, not just with him but anyone who has been in that situation. These sick men need locking up.”

During the sentencing hearing prosecutor Heather Hope told the court the chilling details of Rowe’s crimes.

She described how the abuse started when Rowe, now 45, was 14 or 15 and continued over an extended period of time.

Miss Hope explained how on one occasion Rowe put his hand in her underwear and touched her vagina.

Miss Hope said: “It amounted to grooming behavior and he manipulated her making her think that she was special, saying that if she was to say anything she wouldn’t be believed. She became introverted and shy as a result of the abuse.”

The victim is said to have “frozen” when the defendant approached her and tried to have sex with her.

When he was 16 Rowe joined the Army, giving the defendant temporary respite, but he returned following training, telling her that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her.

The most serious count admitted by Rowe was a rape when he was in his twenties and the defendant was a underage, Miss Hope saying he coerced her into sex as “she lay there rigid hating every minute”.

Rowe told the girl the sexual activity must remain a secret. Further sexual activity included when he made her masturbate him and perform oral sex on him.

It wasn’t until many years later, when the victim found out he was being prosecuted for other sex crimes against children, that she went to the police.

Sentencing Rowe, Judge Linford said: “You groomed, manipulated and told the victim that she was special and that if she ever said anything she wouldn’t be believed.

“When you joined the Army she got some respite but when you returned you raped her and coerced her into sex even though it wasn’t what she wanted. You told her you loved her and that you wanted to marry her.

“You have a highly relevant conviction which proves this was not an isolated set of offending and you have demonstrated that you had and still have deviant peadophile tendencies.

“You have now lost everything and cut a sad and isolated figure. None of your family want anything to do with you.

“The victim personal statement describes how the victim went from being a happy, confident girl to someone who suffers flashbacks and has had problems forming happy relationships and trusting men. She says you stole her innocence.”

The victim’s family and friends applauded Judge Linford’s lengthy sentence before embracing tearfully outside the courtroom.

Alan O’Sullivan

A man viciously beat his friend in a sustained attack with a wooden club – which he called his ‘Walloper’ – after an argument about money.

A court heard[85] the 40-year-old threatened the man with a knife before punching him and then beating him with the wooden bat.

Alan John O’Sullivan, formerly of Listry Road, Newquay[86], was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Darren Annetts on April 6 last year.

Truro[87] Crown Court heard O’Sullivan was at his flat in Newquay with Mr Annetts and both men had been drinking cider and vodka.

After an argument flared, the court was told O’Sullivan attacked his friend, leaving him with cuts to his head, swelling to his face and eyes and bruises on his body, legs and hands. Mr Annetts was treated in hospital where it was initially thought he had a fractured skull, although this since proved not to be the case.

O’Sullivan claimed he was acting in self-defence, but this was rejected by a jury after a trial in January. He appeared at Truro Crown Court[88] for sentence having been convicted of the offence.

The judge, Recorder Noel Casey, said to O’Sullivan: “You were convicted by the jury of a very serious offence, certainly more serious by some degree than anything else in your history of previous convictions. You have a problem with alcohol, that you have recognised, and that caused you to offend.

“During the course of that day and evening, it seems some long-standing grievance about money or money stolen, overwhelmed you so much that you became extremely violent. Having ‘lost it’, in the words of the victim, you threatened him with a knife, punched him and taking the wooden bat hit him some three times.

“The weapon you used was rather a fearsome weapon and was inscribed with the word ‘Walloper’, although I note it was spelled incorrectly.”

Recorder Casey said he accepted O’Sullivan’s remorse for his actions and the progress he had made while on remand in prison in dealing with his alcohol problem.

He added that he had read character references from his family and former employers, who all vouched for O’Sullivan when he was sober. However, he said the court could not consider him of ‘good character’ because of his previous convictions.

The judge added to O’Sullivan: “You have insisted that at the time you were acting in self-defence, a defence which was rejected by the jury. It seems to me it was a sustained assault. We cannot say precisely how long it lasted, but the fact it was sustained is demonstrated by the use of different weapons and the various injuries on different parts of the victim’s body.

“Regrettably from your point of view, not only do you not have the mitigation of good character, but you committed this offence while under the influence of alcohol. That is a stated factor in increasing the seriousness of the offending in this case.”

He said the real test for O’Sullivan will be when he is released from prison and will have to deal with his alcohol problem.

O’Sullivan was jailed for seven years and will serve half that time before he is released on licence. The judge also ordered a restraining order banning O’Sullivan from contacting Mr Annetts for the next six years.

Recorder Casey ordered that the bat ‘Walloper’ and O’Sullivan’s knife be destroyed.

Jed Bicknell

A drug driver who gave the details of his boss when pulled over by police officers has been sent to prison after a judge passed ‘a deterrent’ sentence[89].

Jed Bicknell, 27, from Higher Tower Road in Newquay[90], appeared at Truro Crown Court[91] where he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Bicknell was also sentenced for driving while under the influence of cocaine and cannabis and driving with no insurance as the bizarre details of the case were read to the assembled court room.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how Bicknell was stopped in Newquay while driving a Vauxhall Astra van in August of last year.

Mr Lee said: “Mr Bicknell gave police[92] a false name of Samuel Rickard, who was a friend and colleague of his, and when spoken to told police he had consumed cannabis in the previous days.

“He was arrested and maintained the identity of Samuel Rickard. He gave Mr Rickard’s address and date of birth and was then released under investigation.

“A blood sample was taken and when examined contained both cannabis and cocaine. A summons for the offences was sent to Mr Rickard who knew nothing about it so contacted the police.”

The defendant gave the officers his own phone number during processing so was subsequently tracked down and arrested before he admitted his guilt.

Vehicle owner Mr Rickard is then said to have confronted the defendant who apologised profusely and said he acted in the way he did in attempt to prevent the van from being impounded and Mr Rickard’s vehicle and tools being seized.

The court was told how Mr Rickard hasn’t held a grudge, in a statement saying: “Jed is a good friend and works hard for me. It was a silly mistake he made.”

Sentencing Bicknell, Judge Simon Carr said: “You were stopped by police and a road side test showed that you had both cocaine and cannabis in your system.

“You were arrested and both at the roadside and in custody maintained you were someone else and gave the name, address and date of birth of a friend of yours and the owner of the van you were driving.

“You maintained the lie beyond the point you believed it to be a simple stop but I accept the reason for your fear was that the van was going to be possessed. Having gone home you didn’t take any steps to redeem the situation and there was an element of luck that the police were able to investigate it.

“Sadly in many of these cases the innocent person goes through the entire justice system and is often convicted. You exposed your friend to that risk.”

Judge Carr said that as Bicknell had no insurance, was on the phone when stopped and over the drug drive limit he had to pass a deterrent punishment.

Bicknell was sentenced to six months in prison and given a 15-month driving ban.

Adam Penfold-Carter

A drink driver ignored police as he drove more than eight miles the wrong way[93] along the A30[94] before ploughing head-on into an oncoming car leaving two of its occupants with life-changing injuries.

Adam Penfold-Carter, 53, from St Keyne near Liskeard[95], drove eastbound in the westbound carriageway between B3257 (Bodmin Moor Services) and Jamaica Inn Road (Bolventor) for a prolonged period of time despite a police officer’s best efforts to get him to stop.

He eventually came to a stop when he crashed into the front of a Subaru containing three Slovakian nationals, two of whom suffered severe, life-threatening injuries including a collapsed lung and a number of broken bones, with one of the men spending nearly two weeks in an induced coma.

Penfold-Carter appeared at Truro Crown Court[96] for sentence on Wednesday March 28 after previously pleading guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Prosecuting barrister Ramsay Quaife told the assembled court room how on the evening of January 3 of this year, Penfold-Carter drove the wrong way along the A30[97] near Temple causing drivers to have to swerve to avoid him, with some immediately calling 999 to report the erratic driving.

Mr Quaife, who claimed that Penfold-Carter was travelling at between 40 and 75 miles-per-hour, said: “Drivers couldn’t believe what they were seeing and a police[98] officer sighted the defendant and followed him on the other side of the carriageway with her sirens on hoping he would realise and stop. He wouldn’t.

“She sped ahead and pulled over at a crossover but the defendant continued driving and collided head on with a blue Subaru Legacy. The driver received minor injuries but the two passengers were left with life threatening and life changing injuries and were both taken to Derriford Hospital.”

Both the men sustained various fractures requiring surgery, with one man left with a whole in his leg and had to be placed in an induced coma for 12 days.

The two injured parties were eventually discharged from hospital and have since returned to Slovakia, although Mr Quaife says he suspects they will continue to suffer from their injuries for some time to come, if not the rest of their lives.

Penfold-Carter was breathalysed at the scene and a sample of his breath was backcalculated revealing that he was more than double the drink drive limit when he drove along the wrong side of the road.

Mr Quaife said the period of dangerous driving lasted between 15 and 20 minutes and covered eight miles and during 10 minutes of that time he was followed by MPS Green.

Sentencing Penfold-Carter, Judge Robert Linford said: “You are 53-years-old and up until January 3 have lead a blameless, industrious and hard working life.

“At about 7:20pm that day police received reports of a vehicle driving the wrong way along the A30 duel carriageway near Temple.

“You were driving eastbound in a westbound carriageway and an officer in a marked police car with lights and sirens on followed you in an effort to attract your attention, but despite the presence of the police car you did nothing to alter your path.

“At one point the police officer positioned herself across a crossover on the road but you drove past oblivious. You passed a number of no entry signs and failed to take 11 opportunities to stop. Sadly the inevitable happened and you collided head-on with a car, seriously injuring two passengers who suffered life-changing injuries.

“Backcalculations show you were twice over the drink drive limit and you told officers you had drank a pint and a half to two pints of bitter that day and whiskey the night before. However this alcohol ended up in your system you were drunk and should not have been on the road.

“You were drunk, you drove, you crashed, you seriously hurt two people and it could have been even worse.”

After noting Penfold-Carter’s mitigation, Judge Linford jailed him for two years and said he will be disqualified from driving for four years before having to take an extended test to get his licence back.

Anthony Gaughan

A fraudster conned 18 victims out of more than £100,000[99] through an elaborate campervan conversion scam which even targeted a cancer patient and retired servicemen.

Anthony James Gaughan, 32 and formerly of Wadebridge[100], was jailed for two years at Truro Crown Court[101] on Tuesday (March 27) after pleading guilty to fraudulent trading.

The conviction followed a two-and-half-year investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

Gaughan had started Boss Sporthomes, a campervan conversion business registered in Padstow[102], in 2014. With limited previous experience of running such a business, he quickly took on more work than he could handle.

In late 2014 Gaughan, most recently of Rugeley in Staffordshire, was advertising in a national campervan magazine and also via Gumtree. He soon began to struggle to complete orders and cash flow quickly became an issue. Instead of scaling back or closing the business, he decided to take on even more work, effectively using new customer deposits to fund the conversions of existing customer vans.

By March 2015 Gaughan began to use the false name of ‘Roger’ in his online adverts in order to avoid being charged a fee for business advertising. He would carry on using this name when meeting with clients and replying to emails. In the hope of generating more interest in the business, he also began advertising completed vans that simply didn’t exist.

The case brought by Cornwall Council[103] centred around 18 victims from all over the UK. The total loss to these victims was in the region of £112,000.

Gary Webster, senior Trading Standards officer, said: “Customers would respond to adverts for specific vans, only to be told by Gaughan that the van had been sold. He would then offer to source and convert a similar vehicle. In the majority of these cases, clients were handing over deposits between £8,000 and £20,000.

“When deadlines for completion were missed, customers were given excuse after excuse as to why their van hadn’t been completed. In some cases they were asked for more money, despite little or no work having been done. The few vans that Gaughan supplied in the early stages were often found to be faulty or of poor quality.

“The victims were from a range of backgrounds, including a retired police officer and a serving army officer. In one case, the victim had spent their entire life savings on the purchase, which left their family devastated. Another victim, who had been living with cancer since 2008, wanted a van to go travelling, whilst still fit and able. Unfortunately there is no chance that the victims will ever be compensated for their loss, which is particularly devastating.”


Roy Hawken

A repeat offender was caught on CCTV burgling his neighbour’s flat[104] while she was in the shower.

Roy Anthony Hawken stole a purse from the flat and pocketed £71 in cash before burying it in a kitchen waste bin.

The court heard the 61-year-old had previously been convicted of previous offences of burglary, which means under new laws he would be punished more harshly.

Hawken, of no fixed address, appeared by video link from prison at Truro[105] Crown Court on Friday, April 6, where he pleaded guilty to burglary.

The court heard Hawken, who lived in the Falmouth[106] area, had been homeless and was offered a flat by Coastline Housing in a supported housing block in Camborne[107].

But just three days after moving into the flats in Treswithian Park Road he had entered his neighbour’s property and stolen her purse.

The court was read a statement from the woman who owned the flat who said she had been homeless for a time and had carefully saved the £71 which was stolen.

She said: “The address is supposed to be a safe place but not feels anything but. Knowing a complete stranger had been in my rooms and going through my things left me feeling violated.”

In summing up the facts, Judge Simon Carr said: “The victim in this case left her room to go the shower area. She left her door unlocked, thinking it was safe in that facility. With her vulnerability, she was somewhere she was entitled to feel safe, and now no longer feels safe.”

Hawken was jailed for two years and five months.

Maciej Durski

A Foreign Legion veteran turned jewellery thief was sentenced[108] after embarking on a string of daytime raids at properties near to where he was living at the time.

Maciej Durski, 45, previously of Hayle[109], sat with his head in his hands in the dock at Truro Crown Court[110] as he was sentenced for the burglaries, which were carried out in broad daylight while the houses’ occupants were out at work.

Polish-born Durski appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to three burglaries, one attempted burglary, handling stolen goods and making a false representation.

His apprehension came in unusual circumstances when he answered his phone to investigating police officers, allowing police to track his location in another part of the UK.

Ramsay Quaife, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court how the handling stolen goods and making a false representation charges stemmed from a burglary in Hayle on December 7 of last year, while the owners were out at work.

Mr Quaife said: “The lady noticed some gold earrings were missing and a week later her husband discovered that a Rolex he bought on their honeymoon in Venice for £2,500 had gone. They realised that they may have been burgled, so they made enquiries at local jewellers and second hand shops.

“The husband also texted a friend who was a collector and was told on December 18 that his watch had been located at a second hand shop in Plymouth.”

Police then seized CCTV footage from the store that showed the defendant walking in and selling the watch for £2,100, representing a significant loss for the business when it was later handed back to its rightful owner.

The others offences all took place on January 8 in Hayle, starting at the home of a Mr and Mrs Pring in Prospect Place.

Mr Quaife detailed how, when Mrs Pring returned from work, she could feel a chill and saw that a window had been smashed and irreplaceable jewellery belonging to her late mother had been stolen.

Durski then made his way to the home of a Mr and Mrs Daniel in Mexico Lane and forced a kitchen door open. The prosecution said that Durski searched a jewellery box in a bedroom, but didn’t take anything. However he was spotted outside the property in a distinctive red jacket and caused damage to the value of £850.

Mrs Daniel was said to have been particularly distressed that someone went through her personal items.

Durski then stole a watch worth £160 from a home in Upton Towans and, when spotted and questioned, he said he was “looking for Mrs Brown”. Durski subsequently fled on a bicycle.

Scene of crime police officers attended the property in Upton Towans and found a shoeprint which matched the tread of the trainers worn by the defendant when arrested.

Finally, at around 11am, Durski attempted to enter a property, but again said he was “looking for Mrs Brown” when the owner questioned him before he promptly left.

Mr Quaife said: “After viewing the CCTV from the store in Plymouth police were able to identify the defendant and went to his home at Trevassack Manor Park, a short distance from where all of the burglaries occurred.

“He had gone, but police called his mobile and when he answered they told him to go to his nearest police station. He hung up, but his phone was traced to Surrey and he was arrested in Woking and transported back to Cornwall for questioning.”

Sentencing Durski, Judge Robert Linford said: “In December 2017 following a burglary you were in possession of a Rolex watch and sold it at a second hand shop for £2,000.

“Then on January 8 of this year you embarked upon a spate of burglaries and attempted burglaries. On one occasion you took an item of high sentimental value and the poor, poor, woman lost her late mum’s jewellery because you stole it. She will never get that back.

“The evil of burglaries are that once a home is entered the occupants never feel safe again – every creak of a floorboard and squeak of a door making that homeowner scared someone is back in their house.

“You have been through some terrible experiences in your life, but they do not forgive or explain away this dishonest behaviour.”

Judge Linford handed a distressed-looking Durski a two-year prison sentence.

Brian Matthews

A conman falsely obtained nearly £250,000 in benefits over 16 years by lying about being quadriplegic and assuming the identity of a dead man[111].

Benefits cheat Brian Matthews made a succession of false claims to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Cornwall Council[112] on behalf of himself and other people and was also caught forging letters from doctors to support his bogus claims.

Matthews was exposed as having lied to the authorities, claiming he lived with his children who were disabled when in fact they were taken into care years earlier from a young age. At his sentencing hearing, Truro Crown Court[113] was told how he deposited thousands of pounds on accounts on Ladbrokes and William Hill.

In total Matthews falsely claimed incapacity benefit, industrial injuries benefit, disability living allowance and housing benefit.

The defendant, who arrived in court in a wheelchair, was allowed to sit at the front of the assembled courtroom due to his mobility scooter not being able to get up the step that leads into the dock.

The 52-year-old from Roscadghill Parc in Penzance[114] appeared at court in Truro[115] for sentence on Friday, April 13, after previously pleading guilty[116] to four counts of fraud by making false representation and four of making a false statement to obtain benefits.

The case started in strange fashion when Matthews parted ways with his barrister Sebastian Winnett, his second legal representative of the proceedings, indicating that he had been misled in entering his pleas and wished to change his stance to not guilty on some of the counts.

However after the briefest of pauses, Judge Robert Linford dismissed the application and invited prosecution barrister Jo Martin, QC, to proceed to open the case.

Miss Martin said by 2015 Matthews was receiving £4,200 a month in benefits but had racked up gambling debts of £350,000.

“He found the weak points in the system,” she said. “There are four ways Mr Matthews defrauded the benefits system.

“He claimed benefits in his own name and, the Crown say, from 2001 claimed he was paraplegic or quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair following an accident at work in 1997, which he said crushed his spine.

“He claimed benefits in the name of his second wife; he stole the identity of a man called David Blewett, a man who died in tragic circumstances, to claim his benefits between 2011 and 2016; he claimed benefits for his children, even though his children had been fostered largely from the time of birth.”

The identity theft of Mr Blewett came about when Matthews moved into his old home and opened post containing a new bank card sent out due to his bank being unaware of Mr Blewett’s death, before proceeding to make large cash withdrawals at local branches.

In forms to the DWP, Matthews claimed to be “totally disabled” and “entirely wheelchair bound” and to require “24-hour supervision”.

He also sought compensation after claiming he had been attacked by a gang of youths, in which he said he had lost his testicles.

Doctors who assessed Matthews agreed he was quadriplegic after accepting his presentation in a wheelchair, despite not physically examining him.

He also forged letters and reports to support his benefit claims and said he could only sign his name by holding a pen in his mouth. When investigating officers searched one of Matthews’ addresses they found a typewriter and on its role they could see forged letters he said were from doctors which he originally submitted as evidence to support his claims.

“The Crown’s case is that the applications were over-inflated with total lies about his medical conditions,” Miss Martin said.

She told the court that Matthews, who carried on working until at least 2005, fooled the authorities by using different addresses in Chingford, Penzance and Southend.

On one occasion when the DWP learned Mr Blewett was dead an official went to his former home where he met Matthews, who now lived there, who was wearing dark glasses, carrying a stick and claiming to be blind, saying he was Mr Blewett, the former tenant.

Matthews had also been treated in hospital for a broken wrist which he said had happened while lifting 50kg weights.

The court heard his wife suffered a stroke which enabled him to claim that Mr Blewett, who was really dead, was her full-time carer.

Police and the DWP launched a complex investigation into Matthews in 2013 and he was arrested three years later.

At his two addresses in Essex police found no evidence of any disability or any wheelchairs at the properties.

“There was found an undated photograph of Mr Matthews posing for a modelling agency called New Faces,” Miss Martin said. “Mr Matthews was present at the Chingford address and his car, which had no adaptations (for disability) and had been provided for him by the mobility car scheme, was parked two streets away.

“Mr Matthews was videoed walking with a walking stick.”

At his Penzance home police found a wheelchair at the back of a cupboard, a set of golf clubs and an undated photograph of him playing golf.

Sentencing Matthews, Judge Linford said: “I find that you are to a degree genuinely disabled but your disability does not come close to the extent you were maintaining it was when you committed these offences and it does not explain or excuse your through and through dishonesty.”

Judge Linford said that his attempt to change his pleas was an effort to avoid having to face the consequences of his actions.

He added: “You are a conman and over the period concerned you set out to and did deprive council tax payers, banks and tax payers generally. You exaggerated the extent of your symptoms and those of your wife and invented conditions in others including your children.

“You assumed the identity of a dead man and claimed benefits to which he would have been entitled if he was alive, as well as forging medical reports on yourself and others, all in large to satisfy a gambling habit.”

Judge Linford sentenced Matthews to 42 and a half months in prison as special arrangements were made to facilitate his transfer to HMP Exeter.

Zacharia Howse

A 26-year-old dad-to-be has been sentenced to five months in prison after threatening pub staff with knives in two separate incidents[117] in St Austell[118].

Zacharia Howse, of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro[119] Crown Court, having previously been charged with GBH. He pleaded not guilty to that charge but pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to two charges of carrying an offensive weapon – a bladed article – in a public place, criminal damage and affray.

The court heard that Howse was at the The Queens Head Hotel in North Street with a woman earlier this year, when they “threw their drinks over one another”.

Ramsay Quaife, prosecuting, said: “They were escorted off the premises by door staff and told not to come back in that night.

“At around 11.30pm that night Mr Howse returned. The doormen were told that he sneaked back inside by the side door.

“He was told to leave and pushed the doorman to the chest so that he lost his balance.”

Others managed to restrain Howse and escort him out of the pub.

Mr Quaife said: “When on the street the defendant shouted at the doorman ‘I’m going to get my f*cking knife’.

“He was said to have been remonstrating with his finger in an aggressive manner.”

The doorman went back to his post and five minutes later the defendant returned and was said to have “charged at him with a large meat cleaver”.

Mr Quaife said: “He was making hacking motions and said ‘f*cking come on then’.

“The doormen retreated to the pub and barricaded themselves in. The defendant hacked at the door with the meat cleaver.

“Following that the defendant walked down the side of the pub smashing windows.”

The following day the defendant was said to have put a statement on Facebook which was asking who the “19-year-old c*nt” was, who works as a doorman the pub.

He was arrested on January 6 and declined to answer any questions.

In his victim statement, the doorman said that he was “used to drunk people being aggressive” but had never experienced an incident like that evening.

Ross Hearn, 26, of Ringway Flats, Bodmin, also previously charged with GBH, to which he pleaded not guilty, previously pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and affray.

The court heard that in an earlier incident on Saturday, August 19, 2017, the pair were at The Queen’s Head pub in St Stephens with a large group of people that was said to be “making a nuisance” of themselves.

Mr Quaife said that the group was asked to leave, but continued their behaviour outside the pub.

He revealed that two women were seen hitting a car and van and one brandished a half pint glass.

On seeing the glass, the pub landlord pushed the woman.

In his victim statement, the pub landlord described that shortly after “all hell broke loose”.

Mr Quaife said that the victim was punched by Mr Hearn and Mr Howse joined in.

He added: “The victim went to the floor where he received further blows. One of the two said ‘I am going to blow up the pub’.

“The victim managed to get up from the floor and push the defendants away.”

Howse was then seeing kicking and punching cars – he was also said to be trying to prise off wing mirrors.

He was later spotted by the landlord’s wife, at this stage Howse was said to have brandished a knife and told the woman that he was “going to kill her husband”.

When police[120] officers arrived, Howse threw the knife to the ground in a neighbouring churchyard.

Mr Quaife continued: “Officers gave chase and later found Howse in a nearby house.

“Ronnie the dog, who had been working with Devon and Cornwall Police for around eight months, recovered the knife from the churchyard.

“An officer described the knife as black and serrated with a 20cm blade.”

The pub landlord received a nasty injury to his left wrist and had to have a bone graft and screw fitted.

He also sustained scratches to his face.

A Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500 were damaged during the incident, with repairs estimated to have cost about £700.

The following day, Howse was interviewed by police and said that he was “protecting others”.

Hearn was arrested in the days following the incident and found to be in the possession of 80g of cannabis.

Hearn also claimed that he was trying to protect others.

In his statement, the landlord of the pub said he “shouldn’t have to put up with that sort of behaviour”.

Howse was sentenced to five months in prison, to include time already served in custody.

Hearn was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

The St Austell mum

The mother sobbed as she was taken from court to begin her sentenceThe mother sobbed as she was taken from court to begin her sentence

Matthew Carrol and Rory Jeffery

A St Austell mum was jailed for poisoning her 18-month-old baby[121] with salt.

It was in March that a jury unanimously convicted the mother of deliberately poisoning her daughter with between 21 and 24 grams of salt[122], a dosage that put the sodium in the toddler’s body at “levels simply not seen in a child that survives”.

While the mother was convicted on March 6, Judge Simon Carr called for the convicted to be given a psychiatric assessment before he passed sentence. He had said that he wanted to know the reasons behind her behaviour.

Judge Carr heard the results of the assessment, but said that it showed “no relevant psychiatric features” to be considered.

Despite the conviction the mum has stuck by her not guilty plea and denies poisoning her daughter.

Defence barrister Jason Beal told Truro Crown Court[123] that proceedings had had a “lasting effect” on the mum, who cannot be named under a court order imposed to protect the identity of her then-18-month-old daughter.

As well as the “draining” effect of court procedures, she has had her two children taken out of her care and lost her job working with a charity.

Mr Beal said: “The defendant could have avoided draining court procedures by pleading guilty, these proceedings have had a lasting effect on her.”

He added: “She has been separated from full time care of [both of her children]. She is able to see them both, but in a supervised provision every six weeks. And of course she recognises that a conviction currently stands against her for the long term care of [both of the children].”

Mr Beal added: “This is a woman who has worked generally all through her life, generally in care facilities.”

While the barrister said that he understood that a custodial sentence would be appropriate, he asked whether it was necessary for the defendant to serve it immediately.

Judge Carr said: “You were convicted by jury of the extremely grave offence of administering a poisonous or noxious substance, in this case salt, so as to endanger life.”

He added: “You still deny what you did to this day.”

The judge said that there were a number of “aggravating factors” that had led to his decision including the mums “refusal to accept what evidence so clearly shows”.

During the trial the court heard how the mum had conducted an internet search the day before her daughter was hospitalised[124], to see how much salt is appropriate for a young child.

The mum claimed that she had been searching this because the toddler’s “lips were white and she had nephews whose lips went white when they had too much salt”.

However Judge Carr noted that even if that had been the case, when her daughter was being treated by paramedics, she “did not think” to mention her concerns.

While the treatment of the girl was exactly the same as it would have been had the information been given to medical professionals there was “no way” that the mother could have known this at the time.

Judge Carr said: “An aggravating factor is that, not long before, you had searched for salt levels in children. And having administered the salt you did not seek medical treatment.”

He added: “Overwhelming evidence on that day shows that you gave her a significant amount of salt. Sodium levels, at levels simply not seen in a child that survives.”

The judge cited another aggravating factor as being that the mother had sent numerous photographs of her daughter’s “rapidly deteriorating state” to family and friends, but had not called medical professionals for help or advice.

When emergency services arrived at the house in St Austell[125] the toddler was lying on the floor unresponsive with her eyes half open.

The judge said: “Those photographs of [the toddler] will, I think, stay with us all for a very long time”.

He added: “It is little short of a miracle that [the child] lived.”

He said that with the psychiatric report raising no concerns it was “inexplicable” as to why the mother had done what she had.

Judge Carr said: “What makes all of this so inexplicable is that everything else I have heard about you shows you as a caring mother.”

The mum was given a sentence of four years, to serve a minimum of two.

She sobbed as she was led out of the dock by police officers.

William Myers

William MyersWilliam Myers

The store in Four Lanes targeted by Carrol and Jeffery

A man set up goal posts outside his home to lure children[126] so he could masturbate in front of them.

The 56-year-old was caught twice pleasuring himself in front of young teenagers.

William Charles Myers, of Caseborne Mews, Bude[127], appeared at Truro Crown Court[128] on Friday (April 27) having previously pleaded guilty to charges of exposure.

Sally Daulton, prosecuting, said a 14-year-old boy walked past Myers’ front door on February 23 and was stunned to see him standing naked from the waist down and masturbating.

“He describes being shocked and did not believe what he had seen,” she said, adding that the boy was too taken aback to tell his mother until the following day.

She said two days later two other 14-year-olds were playing football at the goal posts Myers had set up on the green outside his house. One girl caught sight of him again on his doorstep, naked from the waist down and rubbing his penis. The teenagers ran away.

Ms Daulton said that when police arrived at his home a little later, at 2pm, they found Myers in bed and still not wearing any trousers or underwear.

The court heard Myers had been convicted of exposure in 1991 and 1995 as well as masturbating in public in 2008. In 2017 he was convicted of sexual assault after grabbing a woman’s bottom.

Judge Simon Carr said to Myers: “Throughout your life, as can be seen, you find a desire to masturbate in front of others. You have three separate convictions for it. In each case the court has tried to help you.”

Turning to the offences, he added: “There is absolutely no doubt this was the deliberate targeting of children. It was part of it.”

Myers was given two prison sentences for a total of two years. He will also be listed on the sex offenders’ register.

David Sullivan

A man who stalked his ex-partner, turning up at her home and calling her phone 31 times in one evening, has been handed a lengthy prison sentence[129].

The 34-year-old was found to have repeatedly breached a court order not to contact his ex-partner at her home in Hayle[130].

David Aaron Sullivan, of Trelowarren Street, Camborne[131], pleaded guilty to six breaches of the non-molestation order and a further charge of stalking at Truro Crown Court[132] on Friday (April 27). The charges date between January and April 12.

The court heard Sullivan called his ex-partner twice in January while he was in prison before she changed her telephone number. On his release, he sent her flowers for St Valentine’s Day and fives day later turned up at her home address.

A day later he appeared at her living room window and on other occasions was seen twice in the back garden.

Sullivan also sent her Instagram messages and followed her to a pub. On one occasion he called her mobile 29 times and then rang using his mother’s number two more times until she finally answered.

His actions caused his ex-partner to be upset and angry. The court heard he had also been given an 11-week suspended prison sentence by magistrates in April for taking his partner’s father’s car without consent.

In passing sentence, Judge Simon Carr said to Sullivan that he committed an appalling series of offences when he repeatedly breached the court order not to contact his ex-partner.

He said: “As soon as you were released from prison, throughout early 2018, you consistently breached that order. You clearly thought it did not apply to you. You not only called and left messages, but climbed into the property in the back garden, which must have been terrifying for her. Those who commit offences of this sort can expect very little mercy from a court.”

For the six breaches of the non-molestation order Sullivan was sentenced to two months in prison to run consecutively. For breaching the suspended sentence he was given an extra two months and for stalking an extra three months in prison.

In total he was jailed for 17 months.

Sullivan was also given a restraining order not to contact his former partner or enter the street where she lives for the next five years.


Kes Leverett

A criminal landed himself back in prison[133] after he robbed a shop worker and racially abused a police officer just weeks after being released early from his sentence.

Kes Leverett, 30, of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro Crown Court[134] via video link from Exeter Prison and was sentenced for counts of robbery, criminal damage and using threatening words or behaviour in a racially aggravated manner.

He pleaded guilty to robbery having already admitted the other offences at a previous magistrates’ court hearing.

The court heard how on March 10 of this year Leverett was released from prison on licence following a two-year sentence handed to him following an assault occasioning actual bodily harm conviction.

That night Leverett went out in Newquay[135] and at 10pm entered a Premier store and selected a bottle of cider, which he concealed in his trousers. He was noticed and confronted and handed the bottle back, begging staff members not to call the police[136], a request to which they agreed, thinking it would be the end of the matter.

However later that night one of the staff members present in the Premier store, Ross Masters, was making his way to a friend’s house when he was confronted by the defendant. Despite telling Leverett that he wasn’t at work anymore the defendant punched him to the right side of the face and ripped a bottle of cider from him.

Then, 18 days later, police were called at 2.26am following reports of a man with a knife at an area in Newquay known as the tram tracks.

Officers found the defendant drunk and placed him in handcuffs. After becoming abusive he attempted to bite officers and lashed out, causing £50 worth of damage to a watch belonging to PC James Merrikin.

Leverett, who told officers he had glass in his pocket, was placed in leg cuffs and it was then he launched a foul-mouth racial tirade at South African PC Sheri Williams, saying “f*ck off you South African sl*g, f*ck off back to where you came from, f*cking b*tch”.

Sentencing Leverett, Judge Linford said: “You have a very bad record and on March 10 following your release went to Newquay, got drunk, tried to steal cider, gave it back and then when you saw one of the employees from the shop you punched him. This was a terrible thing to do.

“Then following this you called a police officer names you shouldn’t have.”

Judge Linford sentenced Leverett to 14 months in prison.

Andrew Paull

A court heard how a man fired a catapult at and then attacked a group of co-workers in retaliation to being called short[137].

Andrew Paull, 40, of Little Polgooth near St Austell[138], also embarked on a course of violent intimidation in a bid to deter those who witnessed the events from giving evidence against him.

Paull appeared at Truro Crown Court[139] via video link from HMP Exeter after previously admitting three assaults, criminal damage, two counts of intimating a witness, common assault and being in breach of a suspended sentence given to him for racially aggravated harassment.

Prosecuting barrister Ed Bailey told the court how on Wednesday, March 28, of this year Paull was volunteering with Richard Bryan and Daniel Kemp chopping firewood for Stephen Stoddern when the initial incident took place.

Mr Bailey said: “They had been working all day. It was 5pm and spirits were high until the defendant took offence at a joke about his height.

“He lost his temper and called all the men ‘muggy c*nts’ before starting to throw full cans of beer around the barn. He picked up an axe and waved it about and then threw it against the wall.”

Mr Bailey then outlined how Paull was grabbed from behind by Mr Stoddern in attempt to disarm him as Mr Bryan sought refuge in his car.

Mr Bailey added: “He (Paull) then got into the car and punched Mr Bryan several times, breaking his glasses. The defendant made his way to the top of the courtyard and fired at metal ball-bearing at the windscreen of the car using a slingshot. A second ball-bearing was then fired and shattered the car window causing damage of £325.

“A ball-bearing was also fired at Mr Kemp, narrowly missing his head.”

The defendant then left the scene at Carmoggas Holiday Park but returned at about 8.45pm when Mr Bryan was in the clubhouse.

“The defendant walked into the bar and started to confront Mr Bryan,” said Mr Bailey.

“He put his head against Mr Bryan’s and then punched him twice to the side of the head.”

Paull then ran from police[140] officers who recovered a slingshot from the road.

On April 4 Paull sent a text message to Mr Stoddern saying that if he got charged Mr Stoddern and Mr Bryan “would be in the sh*t”.

Paull, who has a string of previous convictions, also later waited for Mr Bryan to get home and threatened to stab him if he didn’t drop the charges.

Paull is alleged to have said “if you think this is witness intimidation, you wait until I get out”.

Judge Robert Linford described the incident as “a pointless argument” before jailing Paull for 11 months.

Dean Lowe

A jury found that a man murdered his girlfriend, chopped up her body, dumped it in a wheelie bin and flushed parts down the toilet.

After a lengthy trial at Truro Crown Court[141] the jury returned a guilty verdict in the case of Dean Lowe on Thursday, May 10.

The 33-year-old from Marazion denied he had killed Kirby Noden and dismembered her body.

He maintained that Miss Noden, who was also known as Kirsty, was still alive and living in South Africa.

Miss Noden was last seen alive in January last year. The couple lived in a flat in North Street where Lowe continued to live for four months after killing her. He even made purchases online using her bank card.

After deliberating for less than ten hours, the jury unanimously found Lowe guilty of murder. After the verdict was announced jurors were in tears as they left the courtroom.

Kirby Noden's body was never foundKirby Noden's body was never found

They also raided a business in Stithians before being arrested

The jury had heard from Paul Dunkles, QC, prosecuting[142], who said: “In January last year Dean Lowe and Kirby Noden were living together in a flat in Marazion. That month he attacked her in the bedroom, beating her to death with a rock and metal pole. He then disposed of her body so nothing was found but blood.

“Blood was found splattered over the walls, on the mattress and on the murder weapons.

“Nobody other than the defendant knew what happened for four months until May of last year when the defendant sent messages to members of his family living in Cheshire saying there had been a body on the floor of the flat and that he had cut it up and put it down the toilet.

“The defendant then showed a police officer the blood and admitted killing Ms Noden and disposing of the body.”

He said Lowe sent family members horrifying Facebook messages[143] in which he feared he had killed 32-year-old Miss Noden.

He said Lowe sent a message to his cousin Elliot Sanderson saying that Miss Noden was missing and adding: “There’s two alternatives. She’s dead and been chopped up and put down the toilet and bins down the road, or she’s setting me up.”

Mr Dunkles said that Lowe said in a later message to Mr Sanderson: “Either I am getting set up or I murdered Kirby. I had a blackout. Woke up with a body on the floor. Scared, so I just got rid. Put body in bin down the road.

“I remember cutting it up and putting in bin for defo. I heard the bin men find all the meat. They didn’t know what it was.

“The carpet had to be lifted because of all the body matter. It was left for a week.”

Mr Dunkles said the couple had lived together for a number of years and were originally from Cheshire.

He said: “Theirs was a somewhat chaotic lifestyle and marred by the use of illegal drugs. They lived on state benefits and were occasionally homeless. They had lived in Torquay, Launceston[144] and then Marazion.”

In his defence, Lowe told the jury his version of events[145], claiming that Miss Noden left him after an argument about her cheating on him with an old friend and that he was then drugged and raped by two men while Miss Noden spread her blood around the flat from a colostomy bag.

Lowe also said that he received a call from Miss Noden while incarcerated in HMP Exeter when she said “you’re f*cked now, you’ve got life in jail and I’ve got a new life out here”.

Defence barrister Anna Vigars, QC, asked Lowe about the last time he saw Miss Noden and he said: “We had an argument in the morning about her cheating on me with Dan. Over the past few months I took notice of a few more things.

“I’ve had blackouts of being raped. I knew she’d been trying to set me up.

“She was shouting. Dan opened the door and came in and I got drugged with some sort of date rape drug. I remember just passing out in the living room.

“I remember people running in the flat, Kirby smashing a rock on the floor saying ‘this is your stone cold heart and now it is broken’.

“I was raped by two people, a black guy and another guy. Kirby had a colostomy bag and started banging it and spraying blood on the floor.”

The jury however rejected Lowe’s version of events.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Mary May gave Lowe a life sentence, of which he must serve at least 28 years.

Paul Lynn

A good Samaritan was badly beaten by a complete stranger[146] after he rushed outside to offer assistance when he heard a disturbance on his street.

Alan Edwards was left badly cut and bruised after being punched and kicked outside his Redruth[147] home in the early hours of July 3 last year by Paul Lynn.

On Tuesday May 15 his attacker appeared at Truro Crown Court[148] to be sentenced.

Lynn, 28, of Brunton Road in Pool, was sentenced for assault causing actual bodily harm and also possessing a bladed article and being in possession of an offensive weapon.

Prosecuting barrister Ramsay Quaife told the court how, shortly before midnight, Lynn called his then girlfriend and asked her to drive him and a friend on an errand, to which she obliged.

She picked them up from Illogan and headed towards Johns Park in Redruth but during the journey talk of drug use ensued and Lynn’s girlfriend challenged him.

Mr Quaife said she told him to behave or get out of the car.

Mr Quaife said: “He (Lynn) then became angry and abusive, his girlfriend later describing his behaviour as unusual and more aggressive in manner and tone.

“They arrived at Johns Park and Lynn told his girlfriend he was going to stay out with a friend. Then the defendant went mad, calling his girlfriend foul names but she remained calm.

“He grabbed her by the hand as she was trying to call the police and threw the phone to the floor. He shook her hand as she was pressing on the horn and screaming as loud as she could.”

Mr Quaife then added how Mr Edwards had been in his bathroom cleaning his teeth and heard an “almighty scream” so went outside.

“He went into the garden and could see the girlfriend in the car and the defendant in the middle of the road,” said Mr Quaife. “He shouted and told the defendant to be quiet but for his enquiries was told to f*ck off.

“The defendant ran across the road and, as Mr Edwards tried to make it inside, the defendant jumped a fence into Mr Edwards’ garden and knocked him to the floor.

“Mr Edwards was then kicked and punched in the face and ribs and pinned to the floor. The defendant continued to beat him until his girlfriend grabbed his hoody and managed to get him to stop what was happening.”

Former martial artist Mr Edwards was left traumatised by the prolonged attack, constantly on edge and afraid to leave the house. He was taken to hospital and treated for cuts and the injuries are said to have aggravated his post-traumatic stress syndrome.

On March 18 of this year police were called to Penryn[149] Street in Redruth and, after a search, found Lynn with a knuckleduster in his trouser pocket.

He was interviewed and released and within hours found in possession of a large kitchen knife.

Sentencing Lynn, Recorder John Trevaskis said the incident was “a wholly unprovoked attack”, going on to describe it as “sustained” and “using both fists and feet”.

Lynn was jailed for 16 months for the assault and 146 days for the other offences.

Gareth Healey

A prolific offender with a penchant for finding himself involved in high-speed car chases in vehicles that didn’t belong to him has been sentenced for what a judge has described as “an appalling series of offences”[150].

Gareth Healey, 29, of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro Crown Court[151] on Friday, May 25, to be sentenced for a raft of offending relating to three separate occasions.

In total, Healey was punished for offences of aggravated vehicle taking on two occasions, driving with no insurance, failing to provide a breath specimen, driving not in accordance to licence, dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and driving whilst disqualified.

Prosecuting barrister Piers Norsworthy addressed Judge Simon Carr regarding the matters chronologically, starting on August 10, 2017.

Mr Norsworthy told the court how on that afternoon Healey took a Renault Clio belonging to his girlfriend without her knowledge and, following a number of distressed and frantic phone calls, she eventually called the police[152] to report the vehicle missing.

Mr Norsworthy said: “The vehicle was located just outside Ladock with substantial damage which included a missing bumper and a front offside wheel stripped down to the metal. When Mr Healey got out of the car he was aggressive and squared up to the officer who could smell liquor. He told her he was going to punch her and ran off.”

After giving chase, PC Pearce produced a Taser and even then Healey continued to be abusive, shouting “I’m coming for you bitch”.

The vehicle was said to be in “a shocking state” and Healey continued to be abusive in custody, making further threats and telling an officer he was going to rape his mother.

The next set of offences occurred on September 18 of last year when, at 11.40am, police were told to look for a Nissan Micra being driven by the offender which was subsequently spotted on the A392.

Mr Norsworthy explained how officers overtook the Micra hoping Healey would stop but instead he mounted a curb and verge and sped off.

Healey was later located in Bodmin[153] when he sped through roadworks near a school into oncoming traffic.

The defendant was then followed up a track where he briefly stopped before driving up a steep bank at speed in an attempt to flee.

Healey then forced the vehicle through a gap between the police car and a Cornish hedge and collided with a Citroen Berlingo being driven by a member of the public. Damage to the Berlingo was estimated at £1,000 and a police BMW was also harmed.

When he eventually came to a stop Healey was again aggressive to officers and was placed in leg restraints.

Then on March 26 of this year there was a burglary at a hotel in Newquay[154]. When a guest returned to his room he noticed his rucksack and hold-all was missing and the drawers had been opened.

When the man looked out the window he noticed that his £10,000 MG had been stolen, the vehicle later being spotted driven by Healey in the car park of McDonald’s in St Austell[155].

Mr Norsworthy said: “When police officers drove into the McDonald’s car park they saw the MG and noticed the vehicle drive across the car park with its engine revving and tyres screeching. The defendant mounted the grass verge and exited the car park at speed and on the wrong side of the road.

“At 1.20am officers located the MG driving on the A390[156] without lights. The lights came on and the vehicle reached speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. The defendant would indicate to turn off but then kept on driving.”

Mr Norsworthy noted that leaving Hewes Water, Healey reached speeds of 95 miles per hour, before driving through Grampound contravening the double white line and driving at speeds of 65 miles per hour in a 30 zone.

A stinger device was then deployed which partially deflated one of Healey’s tyres, yet he still refused to stop.

On a number of occasions he was then boxed in by officers but still managed to escape, at one point moving away with a policeman stood on his bonnet.

Healey was eventually apprehended, calling police “f*cking pigs” and when asked why he had behaved in such a way he replied “no f*cking comment”.

Sentencing Healey, Judge Carr noted that his poor record included driving offences.

He said: “This was an appalling series of offences all committed in drink. The fact nobody was killed or seriously injured was complete luck.”

Judge Carr jailed Healey for 30 months and banned from driving for three years on his release from prison.

Noel Murphy

Retired Irish folk singer Noel Murphy was jailed after he admitted sexually abusing a little girl in North Wales[157] nearly 40 years ago.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, told the 74-year-old that he had taken advantage of his victim when she was aged 11 or 12.

The offences happened when the defendant Murphy, of Mullion[158], was visiting North Wales as part of his singing career.

In the late 70s he appeared at a folk club at Mold and was staying in the area.

The victim complained that she was sexually assaulted by him in a house.

It had a profound effect upon her – together with the fact that despite telling her parents immediately what he had done, nothing was done about it.

The woman, now in her late 40s, made a recent complaint and Murphy denied the allegations.

But last month after a jury had been sworn in to hear his trial, he changed his plea and admitted what he had done[159].

Judge Nicolas Parry jailed him for 18 months and ordered him to register with the police as a sex offender for ten years.

The judge said that night the victim was so scared that she dressed and left the house in the middle of the night.

“Perhaps it is a sign of how far we as a society have come in dealing with such offences, because then, despite telling her mother immediately, a decision was made not to report the matter to the police because she was only a child.

“Mercifully, attitudes and times have changed.”

Judge Parry said that it was one, short lived incident nearly 40 years ago. He was a man of good character, who had pleaded guilty.

He had been a hard working man who committed the offence for his own sexual gratification after he had consumed an excessive amount of alcohol.

“This was an aberration on your part,” the judge said.

He was now in poor health, he was rightly assessed as a low risk of re-offending, he had lost his wife to cancer after nursing her and now had the full time care of his severely disabled daughter.

The judge warned that under present day legislation the sentence would have a six year starting point and could go up to nine years. The offence because of when it occurred had a five year maximum and he had to take the mitigation into account.

It would therefore be reduced to an 18 month sentence but the offences were so serious that it would have to be served immediately, he said.

Prosecuting barrister Myles Wilson said the victim reported the matter in 2016 because she realised she had to confront it.

She wanted Murphy to realise the impact it had on her life every day.

In a victim impact statement she told how she suffered from depression and other issues and told how she had lost control of her life.

She felt hate and anger at what he had done to her when she was young and vulnerable and she revealed that she had considered suicide.

Some days she could not cope and just had to hide away.

The fact that her parents had not reported it at the time – saying they feared how she would cope – had caused a rift but having reported it to the police herself she felt a sense of relief.

She felt that a door had been opened in his life which allowed her to have some control.

Murphy is now retired but he was an Irish folk musician, actor and entertainer who in the 1960s toured UK folk clubs.

He was part of Murf and Shaggis for two years before the group became Draught Porridge.

After recording for various labels, he ran his own Fine Hairy Rope Records label and in 1987 reached the UK singles chart with Murphy and Bricks.

He retired in 2005 due to ill-health.

After the case, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Child sexual abuse can have a devastating impact on an individual and tragically, as in this case, effect the victim into adult life.

“Murphy thought he had got away with his offending, but justice has finally caught up with him.

“Victims of non-recent child sexual abuse should know that it doesn’t matter when they report what happened, they will be listened to and believed if they come forward.

“We hope that the victim is now being given the support she needs to overcome the trauma she has gone through.”

Charles Stevens

A paedophile was jailed for a number of child sex offences[160] dating back to the 1970s.

Charles Stevens, of Padstow[161], was found guilty by a jury after his victims came forward 30 years after the crimes.

Stevens was given a 10-year sentence at Maidstone Crown Court[162] on Friday May 18. He had lived in Kent before moving to Cornwall[163].

He committed the crimes against two children between 1975 and 1986 but was not arrested until March 17 last year after one of his victims approached Kent Police. A second woman came forward later in the year with further allegations against Stevens.

He was subsequently charged with non-recent sex offences against two children.

The 72-year-old from Hawkers Cove, just north of Padstow, denied all charges but was found guilty by a jury after an eight-day trial.

He will serve 10 years in jail with an extended licence of 10 years. He was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

The investigating officer, Detective Constable Samuel Trevena, said: “Stevens repeatedly abused two vulnerable young children who have been traumatised for many years.

“I would particularly like to commend the victims for their bravery in coming forwards to report their ordeal and assisting the investigation. I hope the conclusion of this case and the sentence passed may provide some closure for them.

“I would encourage anyone who is a victim of sexual abuse, no matter when it happened, to get in touch with (the police). You will have our full support and we will always investigate crimes sensitively and professionally.”


Edwin Jones

A Truro man with a keen interest in spiritual healing was jailed for performing sex acts on a teenage boy[164] whilst he massaged him.

Edwin Nigel Jones, 68, of Bosvean Gardens in Truro[165], told the 16-year-old victim that the acts were ‘a release of energy’.

Jones appeared at Truro Crown Court[166] on Friday, June 1, to be sentenced after pleading guilty to four counts of indecent assault at an earlier hearing.

Prosecuting barrister Deni Matthews told the court how the offences took place in the 1990s.

He said: “Mr Jones had an interest in massage and, during the massages on the victim, massage oil was applied and he would speak about the release of energy.”

Mr Matthews went on to detail how Jones penetrated his victim with his fingers and masturbated him while wearing latex gloves.

He also performed oral sex, said the prosecutor.

Mr Matthews added: “Mr Jones was naked and had a habit of wearing only a sarong, which he would remove during the course of the massage.”

Mr Matthews added that Jones would ask the victim to tell him if he wanted to stop, but the victim never felt able to do so.

The victim made a disclosure about the abuse to a college friend many years later and, when he confronted Jones, Jones told him that he had waited until he was 16 before the acts occurred.

As a result of the assaults the victim’s education[167] suffered and he endured low self-esteem and feelings of remoteness, shame anger and regret.

In his police interview Jones admitted the acts took place, but denied getting any sexual gratification from them, saying he believed what he was doing was right.

Sentencing Jones, Judge Robert Linford said: “I have read nine character testimonials, all of which speak of you in the most glowing terms.

“You have led an industrious, hardworking and largely decent life, but on four occasions when the victim was 16 you indecently assaulted him using the pretence of a massage or spiritual assistance.”

The judge outlined how the acts had progressed and added: “For years he lived with this terrible secret before finally telling others and your response when confronted was to tell him you waited until he was 16.

“When questioned by police you accepted in broad terms what you had done, but insisted that it was not sexual. I completely reject the suggestion that it wasn’t about sexual gratification. He experienced self-loathing, shame and low self-esteem and your behaviour continues to have an effect on his life.

“I accept your remorse is genuine, the offences happened a long time ago, and that you have sought assistance, but these offences are too serious for anything other than a custodial sentence.”

Jones was given a two-year jail sentence and told to sign the sex offenders’ register.

Stephen Stewart and James Middleton

Two Liverpudlian criminals involved in the supply of almost £100,000 worth of class A drugs into Cornwall[168] thanked a judge after they were handed lengthy prison sentences[169].

Stephen Stewart and James Middleton were under police surveillance when they were clocked at Tencreek Caravan Park in Looe[170] on January 5 of this year.

Moments later police[171] raided a caravan and found huge quantities of heroin and crack cocaine as well as a smaller amount of cannabis, all with a combined street value of £90,000.

Middleton, 28, previously admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis, whereas Stewart, 31, on Monday, June 4, entered guilty pleas to the same charges. Stewart was also sentenced for driving while disqualified and handling stolen goods.

Both men live in Liverpool and were produced from custody at Truro Crown Court[172] shortly before midday to learn their fate.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Coumbe told the court[173] how at about 3.15pm on the day in question the defendants arrived in a Volkswagen Golf at the caravan park and let themselves into one of the caravans.

He said: “Watching police raided and Middleton pushed past them and ran out the front door before being arrested in Looe a few hours later. He initially told officers he was down visiting his girlfriend.

“Stewart was arrested in a taxi at 5pm and gave police a false name. Inside the caravan was a substantial quantity of illegal drugs.”

A total of 800 grams of illegal drugs were found consisting of 197 grams of cocaine with a street value of just under £20,000, 338 grams of heroin of 37% purity which when ‘bulked out’ would be worth £67,000 and 111 grams (£1,100) worth of cannabis. A further £300 of cannabis was located on the table and in the car which was reported stolen in Lancashire two days before the defendants arrived in Looe. The car theft related to Stewart’s handling stolen goods charge.

Numerous items of drug paraphernalia were found by officers including food bags, electronic scales, a phone with evidence of drug dealing and a green book recording 526 street deals worth more than £10,000.

Caffeine and paracetamol were also located which experts said would be mixed with the drugs to “bulk them out” and decrease the purity reaching the streets and thus maximise profit.

While officers had Stewart and Middleton under surveillance they were seen driving to Plymouth[174] and entering a block of flats to retrieve the drugs. A plastic box covered in mud was also found which Mr Coumbe said showed that the drugs had been buried.

Both Middleton and Stewart had both been recently released from prison sentences, however Stewart had a more lengthy record with 66 offences against his name, a number of those being related to drugs.

Ian Graham, representing Stewart, said that his role was as a driver but acknowledged that as it was his third possession with intent to supply offences, he was subject to a mandatory seven year starting point in terms of sentence.

Sitting as judge, recorder Richard Shepherd gave Middleton a three year and two month jail sentence after applying discount for early pleas and Stewart six and a half years after similar credit.

Both men thanked recorder Shepherd for the discount he gave them as they left to dock to return to Exeter prison.

Hedley Venning

A judge slammed a prominent member of a north Cornwall community as he jailed him for forging his late uncle’s will[175], reinstating himself as an heir and reducing the inheritances of family members he had fallen out with.

Former parish councillor William ‘Hedley’ Venning, 55, of Marine Terrace in Boscastle[176], was erased from his late uncle’s will following a bitter marriage split and then went on to forge another version with the help of his girlfriend Sally Clarke and friend Stephen Martin.

After a trial at Truro Crown Court[177] Venning was last month found guilty by a jury[178] of conspiring to make a false instrument, conspiring to pervert the course of justice, fraud and converting criminal property.

Prosecuting barrister Jason Beal, for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told the court during his opening remarks that Venning had originally been a beneficiary in his uncle Peter Ascott’s will. But after Venning split with his wife, devout Christian Mr Ascott removed him, prompting Venning to take matters into his own hands.

Venning enlisted the help of Clarke, 57, of Cobham in Surrey, and Martin, 52, of Langford Meadows in Boscastle, who were both convicted of conspiring to make a false instrument and conspiring to pervert the course of justice charges for signing the falsified will as witnesses.

Venning, Clarke and Martin all returned to Truro Crown Court[179] on Thursday, June 7, for sentencing.

Mr Ascott died, aged 89, in November 2012 and Mr Beal told the court that Venning was close to his uncle for a number of years up until four years before his death. Mr Ascott strongly disapproved of Venning’s conduct during his marriage break-up and the beginning of his relationship with Clarke, with whom he’d had an affair while married, and took the decision to remove him from the will.

Mr Ascott’s first will was made on February 21, 2003, and in the event of his death there would be a number of beneficiaries, including Venning, who would receive £10,000.

Venning’s sister was also set to get a similar figure, alongside bequests to local parish churches and the charity Christian Aid. In this will Venning was also one of the two executors, responsible for dividing up the estate should Mr Ascott die.

Mr Beal said during the trial: “Hedley Venning was married to Susan Venning for about 20 years but in 2010 Venning and his wife began to have marriage difficulties and separated, a separation which was far from amicable.

“They divorced in December 2011. Susan Venning and Mr Ascott were also very close and following the break-up Mr Ascott took the side of Mrs Venning and made it clear he disapproved of how Hedley had behaved.

“Peter Ascott was a man with strong religious and moral values and his relationship with Hedley Venning soured. As a result of the way he thought his nephew had behaved he decided to change the terms of his will.”

Mr Beal added how a new will was executed in December 2010 whereby Venning was no longer a beneficiary or an executor, a role instead allocated to a local vicar. Despite Venning being axed, his sister Elizabeth and ex-wife Susan remained beneficiaries.

“In May 2011 Hedley Venning wrote a letter to Peter Ascott acknowledging that he changed the will,” said Mr Beal. “The tone of the letter attempted to persuade Mr Ascott that the problems in the marriage were caused by Susan.”

The CPS said that at this point Venning falsely declared to have reconciled with his uncle before the execution of the third – falsified – will.

Mr Beal said: “Peter Ascott didn’t inform anyone else he had changed his will or reconciled with Hedley and reinstated him as a beneficiary. The reason was because he hadn’t.”

In September 2012 Venning was said to have emailed Louise Webster saying: “My dear elderly uncle has changed the will and disinherited me as a result of Sue’s manipulation.”

Mr Beal told the court: “As Mr Ascott’s health deteriorated in the lead up to his death he continued to refer to Susan as his next of kin, showing no reconciliation. He died on November 27 and on the day he died Hedley Venning argued with his carer Pauline Dummet.

“Shortly after Mr Ascott’s death Hedley Venning reported to find a third will, allegedly executed in September 2012, replacing Mr Ascott’s solicitor with another solicitor from a different firm as an executor. The executor of the previous two wills continued to act as Mr Ascott’s solicitor right up to his death.”

Mr Beal said the third will was executed on a Sunday but that, as a devout Christian, Mr Ascott had been unwilling to do business on a Sunday. He added that the third will was formalised just six days after the email to Ms Webster whereby Venning told her he had been disinherited.

A number of alterations in the third will were read out to the jury by Mr Beal, including that Susan Venning’s entitlement would plummet from £10,000 to £1,000 and that Pauline Dummet, the carer Venning allegedly said would “get her comeuppance”, went from being a £10,000 beneficiary to a £500 one. Elizabeth’s cut also went down, with Mr Beal saying they “didn’t get on”.

Venning told a vicar that he patched things up with Mr Ascott and his uncle wanted to keep his new will a secret so people didn’t persuade him to change it back the other way. The vicar, Michael Parsons, who was a close friend to Mr Ascott, told the court during the trial that no reconciliation between him and Venning ever took place.

Mr Beal said: “Sally Clarke and Stephen Martin said they’d been present when Peter Ascott signed the will.

“The third will was examined. It was mostly typed and had a few handwritten entries. One was said to be the signature of Peter Ascott but was not his signature. A handwriting expert examined it and said it showed a pictorial similarity but differed in fluency, featuring a number of unexpected pen lifts.

“Hedley Venning used the opportunity to disinherit those he had fallen out with and also took ownership of a Honda Jazz motor car which he sold for £4,000.”

Sentencing the trio, Judge Robert Linford pulled no punches, calling them liars and delivering some particularly hard sentencing remarks.

He said: “William Hedley Venning, Sally Clarke and Stephen Martin on May 17 you were convicted by a jury of each and every count with which you were indicted.

“The case has at its heart a document dated September 3, 2012, which the three of you dishonestly claimed Peter Ascott had signed when in reality, he hadn’t signed it at all.

“His signature was forged by you, Hedley Venning, and you, Stephen Martin, and Sally Clarke lied that you had seen him in sign it.

“The document in question was reported to be the last document of Peter Ascott and the document either wrote out people from the previous will or reduced their interest in it while benefiting you Mr Venning.

“The forgery was motivated by greed and spite against your sister and former wife. Peter Ascott’s desire for his estate was well set out in a valid will. Hedley Venning, he wanted you to have nothing after he saw a side to you he didn’t like and so did the jury see that side.

“The amount you potentially stood to gain was £250,000 odd pounds. Having forged his signature you presented it to Sally Clarke, who in all probability did not know Peter Ascott did not sign it.

“With Stephen Martin, you did the thing. Stephen Martin and Sally Clarke, you thought you were doing Hedley Venning a favour, but he nearly landed you in prison. You are all consummate liars, every one of you and the jury saw through your lies.”

Addressing Venning directly, Judge Linford said although he had done a lot of good in his life and had no relevant convictions, the hatred he felt towards others involved in the case was palpable during the trial and he was prepared to hang Martin and Clarke out to dry in an attempt to save his self.

Judge Linford said although Clarke was slightly more culpable that Martin, they both offended out of loyalty to Venning and knew what they were doing was seriously wrong.

Judge Linford said there came a point during the trial that Clarke looked at him, he knew she was lying and she knew that Judge Linford knew she was lying but she did not have the courage to tell the jury the truth, something Judge Linford said he was “willing her to do”.

He said to the pair: “You must have known what you were doing was seriously wrong and should have had the backbone to not get involved and allow the crooked Hedley Venning to engineer his own fall from grace.”

Venning was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

Clarke was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, and told to pay £2,500. She will also be the subject of a six-month 7pm to 5am curfew and complete 300 hours of unpaid work.

Martin was also given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, and handed an identical curfew and unpaid work requirement to Clarke. He must pay £1,000 compensation.

Ryan Dalton

A young criminal took revenge on a friend who ‘grassed him up’ to the police by breaking into his family’s business and stealing a truck[180] before driving it drunk around Newquay[181], causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Ryan Dalton, 23, of no fixed abode, appeared at Truro Crown Court[182] on Thursday, June 7, via video link from Hull prison for sentence after previously pleading guilty to burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and being in possession of an offensive weapon, charges which come from a series of offending in Cornwall on April 24 of last year.

Dalton was also sentenced for counts of using threats with intent to cause fear of violence, trespassing on railway property and carrying an offensive weapon stemming from an incident at York Railway Station in October 2017.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how Dalton had been for some months staying with his friend Mr Whetter, whose family owns Bray & Sons coal merchants in St Austell[183].

Mr Lee said: “There was a falling out after Mr Whetter provided the defendant’s details to the police regarding another matter. What followed was a series of acrimonious and abusive text messages to do with Mr Whetter ‘grassing up’ Mr Dalton.

“There was a phone call on April 24 when Mr Whetter told the defendant he couldn’t see him as he was going out. When Mr Whetter returned to the Bray & Sons yard he noticed a vehicle was missing and £250 put aside for wages had been stolen.”

Mr Lee added that there was damage to an internal door and entry had been gained via an insecure conservatory window. It was Mr Lee’s view that Dalton targeted the premises as he knew from the conversation that he had with Mr Whetter that nobody was there.

During the raid a Nissan Cabstar worth £4,000 was taken and by 8pm there was reports that a Ford Focus belonging to Mr Tucker had been written off nearby and damage caused to a Vauxhall car.

In the early hours of April 25 the Nissan Cabstar being driven by Dalton collided with a pedestrian crossing at St George Road in Newquay, pulling out electrical cables and causing damage worth more than £2,300.

The truck was also seen driving dangerously in Newquay Hospital car park and the defendant was eventually found drunk in Fore Street car park shortly after 3am.

Police officers discovered a knuckleduster on his person and £250 in cash in his wallet.

Then later in 2017, on October 6, a heavily intoxicated Dalton was heard shouting at a group on the platform at York railway station.

Mr Lee added: “A man called Mr Robinson told Mr Dalton that they weren’t talking to him, but Mr Dalton reacted by telling him to ‘come over here and I’ll stab you’, or words to that effect.

“He then took a pair of scissors from his bag and repeated the threat before boarding a train. Police arrived and found him hiding in the toilet of the train. The defendant then resisted handcuffs and jumped off the platform and ran across the train tracks until he was restrained on the other side by officers who used leg restraints and a form of pepper spray on him.”

Sitting as a judge, recorder Richard Shepherd said that although a prison sentence had to be immediate, it didn’t mean that Dalton was a lost cause and that he could not get a job as a bricklayer and live a good life upon release.

Mr Shepherd said that he had to balance positive aspects with a dose of reality and that his crimes were a breach of trust and friendship and he committed the break-in and theft of the vehicle because of a grudge.

Dalton was sentenced to eight months in prison and banned from driving for 14 months.

Jody Lee and Una Devlin

Two thieves ran over a police officer[184] who was trying to apprehend them and dragged him for several metres as they sought to speed off from a supermarket car park.

Prolific thief Una Devlin, who has for years been the subject of a criminal behaviour order (CBO) banning her from various shops in Cornwall[185], was collared by PC James Thompson as she left Tesco[186] in Camborne[187].

In a bid to escape she got into the car of Jody Lee and told him to drive, Lee eventually motoring off with PC Thompson half in the car with a hand on Devlin in the back seat.

Devlin, 38, and Lee, 42, both of no fixed abode, were both brought to Truro Crown Court[188] from their respective prisons on Friday, June 15.

Devlin pleaded guilty to assault with intent to resist arrest and three theft charges and breaches of her criminal behaviour order. Lee, meanwhile admitted dangerous driving, driving not in accordance to a licence and a theft.

Prosecuting barrister Piers Norsworthy told the court how on September 29 of last year Devlin was caught on CCTV stealing four mini Armani gift sets from Boots in Truro[189] valued at £120.

Devlin, who was given the CBO in September 2015, then illegally entered Asda[190] in Hayle[191] on November 2, 2017, and paid for bakery goods and milk but stole eight razors that she put in a bag.

Both Devlin and Lee were caught at Boots in Hayle later that month loading bags full of Christmas gift sets and then walking off. The gift sets were valued at £1,600.

Mr Norsworthy then progressed to January 9 of this year, when the two ran over PC Thompson in the car park of Camborne Tesco.

He said: “PC Thompson was aware of Una Devlin’s criminal behaviour order and as she walked past asked for a chat. Devlin had items worth £21.80 concealed in under her jacket. She dropped her basket and ran and threw the items from her jacket as she went.

“She ran to the car with Lee in the passenger seat and got into the rear. The officer reached in and said that she was under arrest. He (PC Thompson) grabbed her arm and she was screaming, shouting and kicking out at the officer.

“She told Lee to ‘just go’ as the officer still had hold. By this time Lee had climbed into the driving seat and the engine was on. The officer’s body was half in and half out and as the car accelerated, it pulled PC Thompson three to five metres before he fell.

“The car ran over his left leg and hand and the car’s wheels then spun as it sped from the car park.”

PC Thompson escaped with soft tissue injuries and slight swelling.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Robert Linford said Devlin had a “horrendous record” and didn’t care for the terms of the CBO.

He warned that because of the length of her rap sheet “sooner or later someone is going to throw away the key”.

Judge Linford said that Lee had a slightly better record but is still “heading in that direction”.

Devlin was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Lee 14 months.

Emma Bowhay

A notorious troublemaker smashed a glass and pressed it four times into the face of a drunken young man[192] who threatened her friends with a chisel.

Emma Bowhay, 34, attacked Jamie Boyns after Mr Boyns threatened her friends in a Penzance[193] shop doorway on February 15 of last year.

Bowhay, formerly of Polweath Close in Penzance, appeared at Truro Crown Court[194] on Monday, June 18, for sentence via video link from HMP Eastwood Park after previously admitting one charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Coumbe described how Mr Boyns and his friend Bradley Gibson had been drinking heavily at another friend’s house when, at about midnight, they decided to go into Penzance town centre and became annoyed with a group of who they perceived to be homeless people.

Mr Coumbe said: “Mr Boyns claimed one of the group called Sean said that his brother was a smackhead. Mr Gibson did his best to try and get Mr Boyns away but Mr Boyns insisted on going back.

“As he did he pulled out a chisel which he told police he was just going to threaten Sean with, rather than actually use it.

“Mr Boyns recalls getting hit and pressed against a window. He also heard the smashing of glass.

“One of the homeless group confirmed that Mr Boyns started as the aggressor but was soon overpowered. Miss Bowhay then smashed the bottle against a post and pushed the broken bottle into his face a number of times.”

When Mr Boyns was taken to hospital he needed 35 stitches.

Sentencing Bowhay, Judge Simon Carr slammed the actions of Mr Boyne.

He said: “It had just gone midnight and you (Bowhay) were with a group of friends causing no trouble. The victim, Mr Boyns, had been drinking heavily and chose with a friend to go out.

“Some form of verbal discussion occured and he is seen (on CCTV footage) to produce a chisel and hold it to the throat of one of your friends. There could be no possible justification for what he did.

“Others intervened and held him back and I accept you acted in the way you did because of his actions and the risk you saw. But by then Mr Boyns was restrained and presented no risk.

“You broke a bottle and deliberately pushed it three or four times into his face causing multiple deep cuts. It’s inconceivable that injuries of this nature would not cause permanent scarring.”

Judge Carr added that he had read a number of psychiatric reports about Bowhay’s mental and emotional difficulties and her substance misuse. He also noted that she had given birth while in custody to a child which was taken out of her care, saying he “couldn’t begin to know what it felt like”.

Bowhay, who is already the subject of a criminal behaviour order, was jailed for 21 months.

Ian Carr and Gareth Jones (pictured)

Two old prison buddies burgled a Carbis Bay home[195] after deciding to take a day trip to Cornwall[196] on the train.

Ian Carr, 43, and Gareth Jones, 38, both from the Plymouth[197] area, originally met while serving time in prison and then rekindled their friendship on the outside before embarking on their criminal day trip to St Ives[198] on May 18 of this year.

Carr and Jones, together again, appeared at Truro Crown Court[199] sitting side by side on a video link from HMP Exeter on Tuesday, June 19.

Both men were sentenced by Judge Simon Carr after admitting burglary.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how, at about 10.45am on the day in question, a neighbour saw the two men acting suspiciously.

Mr Lee said: “Both men were seen going around to the back of the property and the woman knew that her neighbour was out.

“She called the police[200] and when officers arrived they saw a smashed double glazed window and the defendants emerge from the rear patio door. Both appeared under the influence of something.

“The victim of the burglary is very sad and vulnerable and no longer feels safe in her own home.

“Property inside her house was moved in preparation to be taken but the men were disturbed before they had chance to leave the property.”

Sentencing the pair, Judge Simon Carr said: “You have both long-term entrenched addiction problems and decided to burgle the house in order to feed your habit.

“I accept you took care to ensure nobody was in but the victim lives alone and now experiences all of the anxiety you may expect from someone whose whom was burgled. You were essentially caught red handed.”

Judge Carr handed Carr a three-year prison sentence due to his previous burglary convictions and Jones 18 months. Both men must serve half before they are considered for release.

Jonathan Fluhrer

A 52-year-old man who had sex with a 15-year-girl[201] gestured a heart sign at his girlfriend as he was led away to begin a lengthy sentence.

Jonathan Fluhrer, of Spire Hill Park in Saltash[202], had been on trial at Truro Crown Court[203] over the past week and was on Tuesday, June 19, convicted of nine counts of sexual activity with a child. He was cleared of one identical charge.

The court heard how Fluhrer groomed the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons. After around a day of deliberations the jury ruled that Fluhrer did have sex with her on a number of occasions, as well as carrying out other sex acts.

All of the offences took place within the past five years.

Sentencing Fluhrer, Recorder John Trevaskis said he heard evidence that the victim “came across as a vulnerable person”.

He said: “There was evidence of grooming by you reflected in the purchase of various gifts.

“Incidents of ejaculation were aggravated by the absence of any kind of contraception and some of the offences were committed in the home of your mother, where you were living at the time.

“There was encouragement by you for her not to tell her mother and you made some attempt to dispose of evidence, namely the deleting of texts.

“The victim may well have been seeking parental affection that she lacked from her own father.

“I’ve taken note of the mental difficulties you have suffered throughout your life and I accept that your life has been difficult. This may explain why you did what you did, but it certainly doesn’t excuse it.”

Fluhrer was handed a 14-year prison sentence, of which he must serve half. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register and be made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

As Fluhrer was led away by a dock officer he manoeuvred his hands into the shape of a heart and gestured at his tearful girlfriend, who was not the victim in the case and was sitting in the public gallery.

David Boxall

A shop worker sexually assaulted a girl at a gathering[204] after plying her with so much alcohol she couldn’t stand.

David Boxall, 41, who lives and works in Pelynt near Looe[205], was sentenced on Wednesday, June 20, for abusing the girl aged under 16 in December of last year.

Boxall was brought to Truro Crown Court[206] from HMP Exeter where he admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee said the victim had never really drank alcohol before but on the night in question remembers trying vodka, “some blue stuff”, cider and several bottles of Budweiser at a gathering.

Mr Lee said: “She remembers falling down a lot and the defendant picking her up, saying, ‘do you want another drink?’.

“She doesn’t recall how she ended up with the defendant in the (same room).

“The victim described the defendant touching her naked breasts. She had her arms and legs around him and then felt a pain in the vaginal area. The victim felt numb and could not say anything but remembers shouting out.”

Mr Lee added how other people present saw the victim on the floor with her pants down as the defendant pulled his up. Mr Lee says it was likely Boxall would have proceeded to try to have full sex with the victim had she not shouted out in pain.

When the victim later saw her father she was “very drunk, with rolling eyes and slurred speech”. The following morning she broke down and told her parents what had happened.

The victim suffers regular nightmares and lack of sleep and her family are looking to move out of the area as a result of the offence.

Sentencing Boxall, Judge Simon Carr said: “It’s pretty clear you were deliberately feeding large amount of alcohol to young girls to reduce their resistance to you. The victim was so drunk she couldn’t stand up and your reaction after helping her up was to offer her more to drink.

“She has only limited recollection of what happened but remembers feeling pain above her vagina after you assaulted her.

“I have no doubt that the image of you on top of her will stay with her for a very long time.

“I accept you suffer from learning difficulties that many would have sympathy for but this does not forgive or excuse what you did to her that night.

“I cannot accept this as a moment of madness because of the period of time you plied this girl with alcohol prior to the assault.”

Boxall was sentenced to five years in prison and told to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

Neil Woodside

A prolific burglar landed himself with more than two years in prison[207] – all for the sake of a £200 TV.

Neil Woodside, 33, of no fixed abode appeared at Truro Crown Court[208] on Tuesday, June 26, by video link from HMP Exeter when he admitted one charge of burglary between April 13 and 16 of this year.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how Woodside raided a property in Fore Street, St Austell[209], while occupant Mr Counter and his girlfriend were away.

Mr Lee said: “Mr Counter and his pregnant girlfriend returned home and found their front door kicked in and flat broken into.

Police[210] arrived who saw blood on an internal door. The blood matched the defendant’s DNA and he was arrested a few weeks later. He (Woodside) has 46 appearances court for more than 100 offences and more than half have been theft related.

“Mr Counter and his girlfriend have suffered a lot of anxiety and stayed at home that night with a sofa pushed up, blocking their door. The television was worth around £200 in value.”

Sentencing Woodside, Judge Simon Carr said that he has “an extremely poor record for dishonesty” and in all likelihood “committed it to feed a drug habit”.

Judge Carr noted that as it was Woodside’s third domestic burglary he was subject to a minimum sentencing requirement before jailing him for a total of 876 days.

Douglas Bradford

A 50-year-old disabled man lost his temper and hit his female next door neighbour[211] with a metal washing line pole after a heated row about her six dogs.

Douglas Bradford, of Grenfell Gardens in Saltash[212], appeared at Truro Crown Court[213] on Tuesday, June 26, via video-link from HMP Exeter.

Bradford admitted one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm relating to the attack on May 24.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the court how Bradford and his victim were neighbours at the social housing estate for over-50s.

Mr Lee said: “The defendant lived next door and was initially friendly before becoming over-friendly. (The victim) said she didn’t want anything further to do with him.

“Mr Bradford became aggressive and complained repeatedly about her dogs in what was a prolonged period of abuse.

“On May 24 the dogs started barking at another dog and the defendant approached and started shouting, ‘f*cking stupid dogs’. He threatened to burn her and her dogs out and entered (the victim’s) front garden and struck her with a metal pole to the top of the head.

“He landed further repeated blows on her as she lifted her arms, shouting, ‘I’m going to kill you and your f*cking dogs, you’re dead’.”

The victim was eventually able to prod Bradford away with a broom before retreating inside and calling the police[214].

She suffered a swollen hand and other bumps in the attack.

Sentencing Bradford, Judge Simon Carr described the incident as “unpleasant”.

He said: “You and the complainant were neighbours in properties for over-50s. Initial relations were good, but then broke down, it seemed at the centre of the breakdown was a dispute about her dogs.

“An argument escalated and you deliberately went and got a metal pole and struck her a number of times with it. During this you were making threats including that you were going to burn her house down.”

Bradford was jailed for eight months and made subject of a restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim.

Leslie Couch

A violent drunk sank a bottle of Malibu then launched a ferocious attack[215] during which he punched his partner and attacked her with a hammer and block of wood.

Leslie Couch savagely assaulted the woman at their home in Battery Park, Polruan[216], on June 10 of this year, leaving her with a fractured nose and brain swelling among other injuries.

Couch, 53, also went at his partner of seven years’ ears with a pair of plant pruners.

Couch appeared at Truro Crown Court[217] for sentencing on Tuesday, June 26, after previously admitting a charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee described how the woman sent a text message to one of her two sons at 3.15am saying “help, he’s going to kill me. Will be dead if he sees this”.

Mr Lee said: “Her son didn’t see it until 10.45am and the message understandably caused serious concern. Her sons had noticed how (the victim) had become more isolated and they had seen her with a black eye. She told them she had fallen over but they knew the defendant had a drink problem.

“She then text her other son at 11.30am saying ‘need help, no police, he will kill me if he thinks I’ve got in touch’.”

Mr Lee said that the property was then attended by PC Kenny who saw the victim with swollen looking eyes mouthing from behind the defendant as he opened the door ‘help me’.

The woman told PC Kenny that she had fallen over, but PC Kenny decided to arrest Couch when he noticed that he had become agitated.

“Paramedics attended and took (the victim) to hospital. She said she’d been hit on the head with a hammer and a piece of wood as well as being punched several times. Blood stains were found on the walls and on two pieces of wood and a metal police.”

The woman also added that she’d had her ears attacked with plant pruners and it was estimated that she had lost a total of four pints of blood.

In a statement to police the victim said that Couch was “drunk as a skunk” after drinking a bottle of Malibu and all of a sudden launched the attack, blaming her for an emotional breakdown he had some years earlier.

Mr Lee concluded by saying that the attack was “a sustained assault on the same victim, involving more than one weapon to inflict a variety of injuries”.

Judge Simon Carr said the circumstances surrounding the case were “truly chilling”.

He said: “At 3.15am your then-partner texted her son fearing she was going to be killed.

“When you later answered the door to police you attempted to lie and said she had been hurt in a fall. The police[218] officer saw your partner clearly injured and so frightened of you she mouthed help me while saying she’d fallen.

“When very drunk you inflicted a sustained and brutal attack. You not only punched her but used a variety of weapons including a hammer and a length of wood.

“Your partner was bruised from head to toe. She suffered a fractured nose and significant swelling to her head and brain.

“I accept you have shown remorse, but I cannot excuse your attempts to cover up what you did.”

Judge Carr sentenced Couch to seven years in prison.


  1. ^ court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  2. ^ sexually assaulted by a 20-year-old man (www.cornwalllive.com)
  3. ^ Wadebridge (www.cornwalllive.com)
  4. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  5. ^ the two day trial (www.cornwalllive.com)
  6. ^ held up two local businesses (www.cornwalllive.com)
  7. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  8. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  9. ^ previously pleading guilty (www.cornwalllive.com)
  10. ^ Christmas (www.cornwalllive.com)
  11. ^ Two burglars who raided homes in towns and villages across west Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  12. ^ Penzance (www.cornwalllive.com)
  13. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  14. ^ armed robbers who held up two convenience stores (www.cornwalllive.com)
  15. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  16. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  17. ^ chef at Jamie Oliver’s 15 restaurant has been sentenced after falling back into a life of crime. (www.cornwalllive.com)
  18. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  19. ^ Penzance (www.cornwalllive.com)
  20. ^ Launceston (www.cornwalllive.com)
  21. ^ Officers (www.cornwalllive.com)
  22. ^ Redruth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  23. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  24. ^ officers (www.cornwalllive.com)
  25. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  26. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  27. ^ stole a gun and seconds later pointed it in someone’s face (www.cornwalllive.com)
  28. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  29. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  30. ^ brazenly strolled into an occupied home and stole cash (www.cornwalllive.com)
  31. ^ Perranporth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  32. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  33. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  34. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  35. ^ Redruth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  36. ^ A fresh-faced teenager (www.cornwalllive.com)
  37. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  38. ^ Helston (www.cornwalllive.com)
  39. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  40. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  41. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  42. ^ Redruth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  43. ^ Falmouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  44. ^ A sex offender from Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  45. ^ Launceston (www.cornwalllive.com)
  46. ^ threatened to kill officers and pointed a gun at them (www.cornwalllive.com)
  47. ^ Launceston (www.cornwalllive.com)
  48. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  49. ^ Police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  50. ^ A drug dealer who was caught with high-purity cocaine (www.cornwalllive.com)
  51. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  52. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  53. ^ Devon and Cornwall Police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  54. ^ A transgender woman who claimed she was raped twice (www.cornwalllive.com)
  55. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  56. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  57. ^ Facebook (www.cornwalllive.com)
  58. ^ Two dim-witted burglars – one of whom was armed with a stun gun (www.cornwalllive.com)
  59. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  60. ^ Plymouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  61. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  62. ^ was finally sentenced (www.cornwalllive.com)
  63. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  64. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  65. ^ forgot he was holding the knife (www.cornwalllive.com)
  66. ^ dismiss that version of events (www.cornwalllive.com)
  67. ^ Cornwall Live (www.cornwalllive.com)
  68. ^ 14-year-old was attacked (www.cornwalllive.com)
  69. ^ The attacker (www.cornwalllive.com)
  70. ^ Devon and Cornwall Police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  71. ^ beating her, stealing her phone and posting revealing photograph (www.cornwalllive.com)
  72. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  73. ^ Bodmin (www.cornwalllive.com)
  74. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  75. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  76. ^ started fires in an occupied block of flats (www.cornwalllive.com)
  77. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  78. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  79. ^ Firefighters (www.cornwalllive.com)
  80. ^ Plymouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  81. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  82. ^ Judge Robert Linford jailed Kosovan war veteran Martin Rowe (www.cornwalllive.com)
  83. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  84. ^ Bodmin (www.cornwalllive.com)
  85. ^ A court heard (www.cornwalllive.com)
  86. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  87. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  88. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  89. ^ a judge passed ‘a deterrent’ sentence (www.cornwalllive.com)
  90. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  91. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  92. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  93. ^ rove more than eight miles the wrong way (www.cornwalllive.com)
  94. ^ A30 (www.cornwalllive.com)
  95. ^ Liskeard (www.cornwalllive.com)
  96. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  97. ^ drove the wrong way along the A30 (www.cornwalllive.com)
  98. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  99. ^ A fraudster conned 18 victims out of more than £100,000 (www.cornwalllive.com)
  100. ^ Wadebridge (www.cornwalllive.com)
  101. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  102. ^ Padstow (www.cornwalllive.com)
  103. ^ Cornwall Council (www.cornwalllive.com)
  104. ^ caught on CCTV burgling his neighbour’s flat (www.cornwalllive.com)
  105. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  106. ^ Falmouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  107. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  108. ^ Foreign Legion veteran turned jewellery thief was sentenced (www.cornwalllive.com)
  109. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  110. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  111. ^ lying about being quadriplegic and assuming the identity of a dead man (www.cornwalllive.com)
  112. ^ Cornwall Council (www.cornwalllive.com)
  113. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  114. ^ Penzance (www.cornwalllive.com)
  115. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  116. ^ previously pleading guilty (www.cornwalllive.com)
  117. ^ threatening pub staff with knives in two separate incidents (www.cornwalllive.com)
  118. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  119. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  120. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  121. ^ poisoning her 18-month-old baby (www.cornwalllive.com)
  122. ^ unanimously convicted the mother of deliberately poisoning her daughter with between 21 and 24 grams of salt (www.cornwalllive.com)
  123. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  124. ^ conducted an internet search the day before her daughter was hospitalised (www.cornwalllive.com)
  125. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  126. ^ set up goal posts outside his home to lure children (www.cornwalllive.com)
  127. ^ Bude (www.cornwalllive.com)
  128. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  129. ^ been handed a lengthy prison sentence (www.cornwalllive.com)
  130. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  131. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  132. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  133. ^ landed himself back in prison (www.cornwalllive.com)
  134. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  135. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  136. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  137. ^ in retaliation to being called short (www.cornwalllive.com)
  138. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  139. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  140. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  141. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  142. ^ heard from Paul Dunkles, QC, prosecuting (www.cornwalllive.com)
  143. ^ horrifying Facebook messages (www.cornwalllive.com)
  144. ^ Launceston (www.cornwalllive.com)
  145. ^ Lowe told the jury his version of events (www.cornwalllive.com)
  146. ^ good Samaritan was badly beaten by a complete stranger (www.cornwalllive.com)
  147. ^ Redruth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  148. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  149. ^ Penryn (www.cornwalllive.com)
  150. ^ “an appalling series of offences” (www.cornwalllive.com)
  151. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  152. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  153. ^ Bodmin (www.cornwalllive.com)
  154. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  155. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  156. ^ A390 (www.cornwalllive.com)
  157. ^ abusing a little girl in North Wales (www.cornwalllive.com)
  158. ^ of Mullion (www.cornwalllive.com)
  159. ^ admitted what he had done (www.cornwalllive.com)
  160. ^ A paedophile was jailed for a number of child sex offences (www.cornwalllive.com)
  161. ^ Padstow (www.cornwalllive.com)
  162. ^ Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  163. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  164. ^ was jailed for performing sex acts on a teenage boy (www.cornwalllive.com)
  165. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  166. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  167. ^ education (www.cornwalllive.com)
  168. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  169. ^ were handed lengthy prison sentences (www.cornwalllive.com)
  170. ^ Looe (www.cornwalllive.com)
  171. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  172. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  173. ^ court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  174. ^ Plymouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  175. ^ he jailed him for forging his late uncle’s will (www.cornwalllive.com)
  176. ^ Boscastle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  177. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  178. ^ found guilty by a jury (www.cornwalllive.com)
  179. ^ Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  180. ^ breaking into his family’s business and stealing a truck (www.cornwalllive.com)
  181. ^ Newquay (www.cornwalllive.com)
  182. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  183. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  184. ^ ran over a police officer (www.cornwalllive.com)
  185. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  186. ^ Tesco (www.cornwalllive.com)
  187. ^ Camborne (www.cornwalllive.com)
  188. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  189. ^ Truro (www.cornwalllive.com)
  190. ^ Asda (www.cornwalllive.com)
  191. ^ Hayle (www.cornwalllive.com)
  192. ^ troublemaker smashed a glass and pressed it four times into the face of a drunken young man (www.cornwalllive.com)
  193. ^ Penzance (www.cornwalllive.com)
  194. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  195. ^ burgled a Carbis Bay home (www.cornwalllive.com)
  196. ^ Cornwall (www.cornwalllive.com)
  197. ^ Plymouth (www.cornwalllive.com)
  198. ^ St Ives (www.cornwalllive.com)
  199. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  200. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  201. ^ had sex with a 15-year-girl (www.cornwalllive.com)
  202. ^ Saltash (www.cornwalllive.com)
  203. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  204. ^ sexually assaulted a girl at a gathering (www.cornwalllive.com)
  205. ^ Looe (www.cornwalllive.com)
  206. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  207. ^ landed himself with more than two years in prison (www.cornwalllive.com)
  208. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  209. ^ St Austell (www.cornwalllive.com)
  210. ^ Police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  211. ^ ost his temper and hit his female next door neighbour (www.cornwalllive.com)
  212. ^ Saltash (www.cornwalllive.com)
  213. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  214. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)
  215. ^ launched a ferocious attack (www.cornwalllive.com)
  216. ^ Polruan (www.cornwalllive.com)
  217. ^ Truro Crown Court (www.cornwalllive.com)
  218. ^ police (www.cornwalllive.com)