A man smashed up a popular Lechlade pub when he was asked to leave for consuming his own alcohol before assaulting the landlord and a police officer.
At Swindon Magistrates’ Court, 21-year-old Luke Robert Taylor pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage, assault, assaulting an emergency worker and possession of cocaine and cannabis.
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said the defendant, of Victoria Road, Old Town, was at The Riverside pub with a group of friends on 17 April 2021 when the manager spotted him drinking his own alcohol.
Taylor accepted this when he was approached by the manager, but he was allowed to stay. A short time later, he was spotted drinking his own alcohol again and was subsequently told to leave.
The manager allowed the defendant to continue sitting with his friends while he waited for a lift to arrive to take him home, but he tried to start a fight with others in the pub instead.
The manager returns and tells him that he must leave immediately. In anger, he threw a pint glass at a glass partition, smashing it. During the commotion, the staff member is headbutted.
He was eventually ushered out of the establishment by several people, but during the course of his exit, he threw two stools into the River Thames and pulled lights off the side of the building.
After he left, he picked up an object and threw it at a nearby cafe’s windows, smashing two of them – which is also owned by The Riverside pub.
Police were called to the scene and located Taylor on the A361, with the help of witnesses who followed him. He then threatened to punch the officers and was taken to the ground.
He proceeded to kick out and thrash his legs around, and as a result, caused an officer a minor injury. When he was searched, they discovered cocaine and cannabis.
The court heard that Taylor has a previous conviction for drug driving.
Gordon Hotson, defending, said his client was in “severe distress” when officers took him to the ground due to his autism and asthma – and says that’s why he was kicking out.
He confirmed the defendant had been drinking and taken “some other substance” prior to the incident. Though he said the assaults on the pub manager and the police officer were not intentional and simply reckless – a basis of plea accepted by the prosecution.
Mr Hotson said Taylor has “cleaned up his act since then” and no longer uses illicit drugs and only drinks occasionally with his father.
He said he works as a machine operator, driving diggers and is now drug tested regularly as part of his employment.
He added that Taylor, supported in court by his father Robert Taylor, is “concentrating his efforts on keeping fit” and has an “interest in cryptocurrency and trading”.
“Clearly he’s sorted his life out in a positive way”, Mr Hotson added as he handed a letter of remorse to the bench.
Magistrates told him to pay compensation of £1,500 to The Riverside pub, £50 compensation to the injured police officer and £50 to the injured manager. No costs or surcharges were imposed.
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