Magistrates lose patience with Cowes man's probation failures by jailing him

The Isle of Wight Law Courts in Newport.
The Isle of Wight Law Courts in Newport.

ISLE of Wight magistrates finally lost patience with a Cowes man who had continually flouted court orders he had been made subject to, by jailing him.

Lachen Connor Downs, of Tennyson Road, launched a foul-mouthed tirade from the dock, to the bench, after he was imprisoned for three months — and was fortunate not to get double that after magistrates decided to make a further three months' jail concurrent, rather than consecutive, after a lengthy deliberation.

Downs, several hours late for his appearance at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court yesterday (Tuesday), admitted to three breaches of a three-month suspended sentence order — twice failing without reasonable excuse to comply to attend home visit appointments on June 15 and August 30 and by being out of contact with probation since August 18.

The suspended sentence order was imposed by magistrates on April 26 last year for sending naked photos of an ex-girlfriend to her father — and a video of her having sex.

He also ​made threats by text to send lewd material to the victim's dad on March 11 last year.

Subsequently, Downs, 24, also admitted failing to comply with an 18-month probation order, made on October 11 last year, which ran in tandem with it, to do 270 hours' unpaid work — none of it completed.

After Downs found work as a labourer, he had weekly telephone appointments with probation and knew he had to attend an appointment once a month.

Downs failed to attend one on August 30 and had, in vain, been contacted by phone and text message daily, probation officer, Dawn Young, told magistrates.

Earlier this month, Downs's offender manager contacted his employers, who said his employment was terminated three weeks earlier and Downs had not made her aware of his position or been in contact.

But Downs eventually broke his silence and called his offender manager on September 15 — shouting, swearing and insulting her and telling her it was her job to contact him and not vice-versa, with a refusal to visit the office, said Mrs Young.

The court was told Downs was a high risk offender and is someone who "cannot be managed robustly in the community".

The original offences for which he was handed probation was an assault on his vulnerable mother and causing criminal damage to her home.

Downs had pushed her against a wall, demanding money, then hurled her glasses across the living room saying: "Go and find them you blind b****", followed by a warning he would burn her home down, with her in it.

For Downs, Jim Osborne said his client had a prolific alcohol and drugs problem and credit should be given for him attending court on foot from Cowes.

"You've done so little towards the community order. But not only have you done pretty much nothing, you've also been rude and abusive to staff," said presiding magistrate, Janice Routledge.