The following press article is a few months old but nonetheless it does demonstrate that courts will impose a custodial sentence on debtors who threaten bailiffs with violence.
A man who threatened to shoot two bailiffs with a plastic LIZARD has been jailed for eight months.
Shane Burton, 45, pointed the toy at two men who were clamping his Land Rover and shouted “get away from the car, or I will shoot you.”
A court heard bailiffs Christopher Heath and Ricky Knight – who had a warrant to clamp his car for unpaid parking fines – believed the square object Burton pointed at them was a handgun.
Burton’s threats *-shouted from the window of his flat – caused the ‘shocked’ and ‘scared’ men to take the clamp off and drive away in a hurry.
He was later arrested on April 19 last year after the pair reported the incident to police.
On Tuesday, Burton, from Sneinton, Notts., was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Caging him, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: “We cannot have people, even with a pretend object, pointing them at bailiffs, threatening to shoot them and chasing them down the road.
“It’s very odd he should pick up the lizard.”
The court heard Burton had been in a dispute over the parking tickets, and claimed his vehicle was cloned – meaning he was getting tickets for another vehicle
Prosecutor Jim Metcalf told the court Burton had picked up the nearest thing to hand. He said: “They (the bailiffs) took the clamp off and they drove away.
“As they drove off, the defendant came out of the flats, got into his Land Rover and followed them.”
Defending Burton, Adrian Reynolds, described what happened as spontaneous and there was a “genuine belief” by his client that he was being wronged over the parking tickets.
Mr Reynolds added: “He forgot in the heat of the moment these were just two human beings doing their job.