Boozing defendants, sex in the park and an attempted sausage theft are some of the strangest cases to be heard in magistrates’ court in Derbyshire over the last year.
Thousands of people roll through the doors of Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court and North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court each year.
Things have been slightly different this year as the coronavirus situation has slowed things down dramatically, but that hasn’t stopped the wheels of justice from turning.
Among the multitude of crimes and criminal acts which go through the courtroom, some are properly bizarre.
Here we have put together a list of some of the strangest cases that have been heard by district judges and magistrates at both Derby’s and Chesterfield’s magistrates’ courts
Click on the name of the defendant to read the full story of each case.
Three defendants were denied entry to a Derby court building because they had been drinking.
Security guards felt it was not safe to allow the trio into Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court after watching them neck a load of booze.
Their cases were put back until 2pm – but again they were refused entry when it became apparent they had carried on drinking.
At that point, a member of the security team was called into court to explain why they had twice not been allowed into the building.
Following the conversation, District Judge Andrew Meachin said each defendant could have their case heard if they were escorted into and out of court by a member of the security staff.
The defendants were Farrah Ready, Antonio Junior Zabaroni and Leigh Spencer.
A pensioner was seen carrying out a sex act in his back garden.
Frank Steel, of Linton, Swadlincote, was spotted performing the indecent act twice.
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe, who presided over the case at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, criticised the 80-year-old’s behaviour, handing him a suspended sentence for his actions.
And he warned him that, if he was seen doing it again, he would end up behind bars.
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Steel, of The Crest, Linton, Swadlincote, pleaded guilty to one charge of public nuisance – indecent exposure.
Judge Taaffe handed him a six-week sentence, suspended for 12 months.
He was then ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £122 victim surcharge.
Sex in the park
A dad has been given a stiff warning by magistrates after being caught having sex with a woman in a Derby park.
Adrian King was spotted engaging in sexual intercourse on the Racecourse Park, in Chaddesden, back in May this year.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how he tried to go to a “secluded location” to carry out the act, but was seen and reported to the police.
The Chaddesden father-of-three, who pleaded guilty to outraging public decency, was in the park with an unnamed woman and “one thing led to another”, according to his solicitor.
Magistrates who presided over the case described the 34-year-old’s actions as stupid. They told him to keep out of the parks and handed him a conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £107.
King, of Kinross Avenue, Chaddesden, pleaded guilty to one charge of outraging public decency.
Magistrates handed him a conditional discharge for one year.
They then ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a £22 victim surcharge, taking his total to pay to £107.
Would-be sausage roll thief
A man tried to steal a sausage roll from a Derby Greggs by sneaking behind the counter. And, after staff foiled his attempt, he became irate and threatened them with a broken umbrella.
A court heard how Ryan Rodgers, 26, kept telling staff he “wanted to fight them”.
Rodgers eventually left the store in St Peter’s Street with a meagre haul – a single empty porridge cup he swiped on his way out.
But while leaving he took out a 1p coin and threw it into the shop, telling staff to give it to charity.
Rodgers pleaded guilty to theft, using or threatening abusive words or behaviour and possession of cannabis at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates handed him a 16-week prison sentence, which took into account these crimes and also the previous assault of an emergency worker.
The court also ordered that £100 of compensation be paid to the abused shop workers.
Burglar’s gesture to the camera
Joshua Hutchinson pleaded guilty to burglary
(Image: Derby Telegraph)
It took almost two years for this man to be brought to court for a burglary he committed when he was just 16.
Joshua Hutchinson, of no fixed address, broke into a property in Draycott to fund his drug habit in May 2018.
When police arrested him for the offence on January 13, 2020, they also found on him a driving licence which did not belong to him.
Now 18 years old, he was charged with burglary dwelling with intent to steal and possessing another person’s identity document at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on January 14.
He pleaded guilty to both charges.
Hutchinson was handed a 12-month community order which included 80 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
He was then told to pay a £90 victim surcharge and costs of £85, taking his total to pay to £175.
Urinating on prison guard
A Derby homeless man has been jailed for urinating on a prison guard through an open cell door.
Scott Taylor did his dirty protest while he was in jail at HMP Nottingham in February.
The 38-year-old desecrated his victim’s trousers and boots before he was released and returned to Derby.
However, after the offence was later reported to the police, he was arrested.
It transpired he was also suspected of other crimes throughout April, including trying to get into cars parked in Marisco Close, Boulton Moor.
He was charged with theft from a motor vehicle, four counts of vehicle interference, possession of a class A drug and assaulting an emergency worker – relating to the incident in prison.
He pleaded guilty to all charges at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court and was jailed for 26 weeks.
Banned driver at it again
A man who had seven previous convictions for driving whilst disqualified has been jailed after police caught him at it again.
Raymond Wilkinson has never passed his driving test and he shook his head in disagreement inside the court dock as magistrates slapped him with an immediate custodial sentence.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard that the 43-year-old was spotted in a Vauxhall Corsa in Sandiacre and “appeared to be driving at speed” back in December.
After pulling over, he told officers he had been banned from the roads and checks revealed he had just days left on his disqualification.
Wilkinson, of Bridge Street, Long Eaton, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
Magistrates jailed him for eight weeks and ordered him to pay a £122 victim surcharge.
He was then disqualified from driving for 12 months from the day of his release from custody.
Scaffolding boss beats up employee for selling ‘broken’ PlayStation
A scaffolding manager brutally attacked one of his employees when a PlayStation he bought from him broke.
Karl Lea, 41, became angry when the gadget he bought for £100 stopped working.
He demanded £50 back from the victim, who refused, saying that it was in perfect working order when he sold it.
Lea then cornered the victim in his work canteen before repeatedly punching him in the head and kicking him.
Both men worked at High Peak Scaffolding in Buxton.
Lea, of Windsor Road, Fairfield, Buxton, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Chesterfield Justice Centre.
Lea was given a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.
He also had to complete 12 rehabilitation days, and pay a total of £275 to the court, including £100 in compensation to the victim.
Teenager behaved ‘like an animal’ as police arrested her boyfriend
(Image: Derby Telegraph)
A teenager behaved “like an animal” when a police officer tried to arrest her partner, who had locked her outside.
Demi Walley, of Warner Street, Derby, had an argument with her boyfriend in the early hours of the morning and she called the police as he had locked her out.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how the officer who went to the scene sought advice from his sergeant and it was decided a “positive approach was needed”, so he went to arrest the partner – against the defendant’s wishes.
The 18-year-old went on to tell her boyfriend to “run away” and then assaulted the officer. She was then arrested. In court she told the probation service she behaved “like an animal”.
At court, magistrates sentenced Walley to a community order for the assault on the police officer.
No details were provided in court concerning what happened to the partner.
Walley pleaded guilty to one charge of assault by beating of an emergency worker.
She was handed a 12-month community order which included 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and an £80 fine.
She was then ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge, as well as court costs of £85. This took her total to pay to £255.
Woman spat at staff and urinated in police van after being denied entry to prison
A woman who spat and swore at staff when not allowed to enter a prison to visit a friend has now been jailed herself.
Ella Sismey spat at a guard and started throwing bins around when she was denied entry to HMP Downview, in Surrey.
She had drunk two pints of lager before going to see an acquaintance who was serving time there.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how, when Sismey was refused entry, she started swearing at staff and spitting at a member of the security team.
Following her arrest, she also spat at a police officer. She continued to spit and also urinated when locked inside the cage of the police van.
Sismey, of Stockbrook Road, Stockbrook, Derby, pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal damage, a public order offence, one charge of common assault, one charge of assault by beating of an emergency worker and failing to surrender to court.
Sismey was handed an immediate custodial sentence. She was jailed for 14 weeks and ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge.