Judge took a ‘dim view’ of man

York Crown Court

York Crown Court

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Using threatening behaviour towards a Scarborough taxi driver saw a Malton man breach a suspended sentence - resulting in a month in fail.

Patrick Conners, 22, appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing having additted the breach.

Judge Michael Mettyear

Judge Michael Mettyear

However it was not his lucky day as he came face-to-face with the same judge who originally sentenced him at Hull for an offence of stealing cabling from an electricity sub-station.

Judge Michael Mettyear usually sits at Hull Crown Court, but for a few weeks had been at York and, when Conners appeared before him he said “I remember this case well”.

Adding that it was “an unfortunate coincidence”, the judge said that when he passed the suspended sentence for the theft of the cable in Driffield he had been criticized by some for being too lenient.

He said that he remembered the offence had led to many people’s electricity supply being interrupted and that many had thought that the sentence of six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, was a “merciful view” of what had happened.

However, the judge told Conners that he also well remembered warning him about the dangers of breaching the sentence.

The suspended sentence ran out in February, this year, but not before Conners had become involved in an incident with the taxi driver.

Michelle Stewart-Lofthouse, prosecuting, told how on August 28, last year, Conners, together with others took a taxi to a party in the Scarborough area.

On reaching the destination, one of the group of three males and two females grabbed the driver’s cash bag.

However the culprit was caught and the money retrieved.

Then others in the group began pushing the driver around, putting him in fear, the court heard.

Conners, of York Road in Malton, appeared for sentencing, having previously admitted charges of using threatening behaviour and breaching the suspended sentence.

Laura Addy, mitigating, said that Conners had pleaded guilty at an early stage.

She added that her client appeared young for his age and now realizing that he had reacted wrongly, whist in drink, to the situation involving the taxi driver.

She said that Conners had not realized at the time that money had been taken and was reacting to one of his party being confronted by the driver.

Passing sentence, the judge said that he “took a dim view” of people acting in this way towards people, like taxi drivers, who provide a public service.

Adding that it must have been “absolutely terrifying” for the driver, and that the message had to go out that this sort of conduct was not acceptable, the judge said that he noted the pleas of guilt and that the unpaid work element of the suspended sentence had been completed well.

Jailing Conners for one month, the judge said that he hoped that this “small taste of prison” would be enough to make him think more carefully in the future about what he did.