A ‘scared’ man armed himself with a tyre iron and chased a group of teenagers who had threatened him – only to be tasered by a police officer.
During an earlier hearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court, 29-year-old Bradley Jack Murray pleaded guilty to affray and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said Wiltshire Police was called to The Abbey Mead pub in Elstree Way after a group – aged in their late teens and smelling of cannabis – made threats to various people in the establishment on 23 October last year.
One of the males were reportedly in possession of a knife, and the group were told the leave. Officers arrived at the scene shortly after 11pm, chasing and detaining two of the males – but neither were in possession of a blade.
When officers headed back towards the pub, they spotted the defendant, of Gable Close, Swindon, running towards a male whilst swinging a tyre iron above his head.
They attempted to detain Murray, but he could only be subdued with the help of a taser. He was eventually – despite much resistance – put into the police van’s cage.
During the arrest, he kicked out – causing the cage door to strike PC Julie Mason in the breastbone. The officer was pushed backwards, and Murray was sentenced for assaulting an emergency worker on 30 November 2021.
In mitigation, the court heard that a group of young males had been intimidating and goading Murray in the pub, gesturing that they had a knife. Two of the males were waiting for him outside after they were told to leave – so he walked to his van, grabbed a tyre iron and chased them away.
His solicitor said that an immediate custodial sentence would impact his partner and their three children. It could also have a significant effect on his business Murray’s Home Improvements, which could see him lose the ability to support his family, as well as his brother – who is employed by the firm.
But chief magistrate Martin Clarke said he is lucky not to have been carted off in a prison van.
“Make no mistake here, if this was a first time in and you had all three charges [together], you’d be looking at something different, something that would see you taken off in a prison van”, he said.
Adding: “You make a conscious decision to go to your van and get the tyre iron out. A bigger man could have walked away, couldn’t they?
“You reacted the wrong way, you’ve been tasered and given a community order, and now you’re looking at another one.”
Murray agreed, nodding in the dock.
Mr Clarke revoked his previous community order and imposed a new one – including an additional 80 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to undertake a thinking skills programme. Murray must also pay costs of £85 and a £95 surcharge.
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