Paedos, woman beaters, thugs, murderer among 39 criminals jailed at Truro Crown Court so far this year

Camborne stalker Andrew May, 52, has been locked up for six years after making two women's lives a misery for more than 18 months
-Credit: (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)


Welcome to our look back at the criminals jailed this year so far in Cornwall. It's been a busy first half of 2024 in Cornwall's main court and we've strived to cover as many cases as possible.

As we come to the halfway point of the year we're looking back at all those put behind bars between January and June for their serious crimes ranging from drug gangs and serial shoplifters to paedophiles and murderers.

Here are the 39 criminals we saw jailed at Truro Crown Court during the first part of 2024 as reported at the time. For more of our court coverage, join our Court Insider group here.

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January

James Hitchings

A jealous thug punched, headbutted, kicked and strangled his longsuffering partner and told her he would go to prison for murdering her. James Hitchings, 30, left the victim with injuries that made her look like she'd been in a boxing match, the judge said.

Hitchings, from St Mawes, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to strangulation, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and breach of a restraining order. Hitchings was also in breach of a suspended sentence given to him for attacking the same victim.

Prosecuting the case, Ramsay Quaife described how in late November Hitchings made contact with his former partner by Facebook messenger, saying that he was a changed man. He asked to meet up and they did in Torquay where a hotel was booked.

They went out drinking but when they got back to the hotel Hitchings "started getting funny". He became angry and accused her of sleeping with other men. Hitchings then locked the door and punched the victim to the face repeatedly, pulling her back as she tried to escape.

She tried to get off the floor and as she pleaded Hitchings headbutted her and threw her phone. There was blood everywhere and Hitchings ordered the complainant get in the shower. When she did he punched her and tried to film her.

The attack then continued as Hitchings kicked and headbutted his former partner before getting on top of her and strangling her, pushing so hard she became light-headed.

Chillingly, Hitchings told her "If I'm going back to prison, I want it to be for good reason". Hitchings said that he was going to kill her and he'd only end up doing eight years. Hitchings then pressurised the victim to have sex with him, filming the act.

The next morning, the complainant begged the defendant to let her go to hospital as she had a lot of pain around her face and ribs, but Hitchings told her not to go because if she did he'd get his friends to go after her. The victim did eventually attend hospital and Hitchings contacted her again.

Representing Hitchings, Martin Pearce said: "He was deeply in love and accepts that the relationship is at an end and that feelings of jealousy led him to this behaviour. He suffers severe personality disorder, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and depression. He isn't an alcoholic but recognises that when in drink he acts poorly."

Sentencing Hitchings, Judge Simon Carr said: "It is clear this relationship was violent and abusive throughout. In early November you received a suspended sentence for assaulting her and a restraining order was made. You breached it within a matter of days if not hours."

Judge Carr said that despite the victim agreeing to meet, the fault lies entirely with Hitchings as domestic violence victims are often drawn back to their abusers.

Judge Carr added: "It was a sustained and brutal attack that lasted hours and must have been truly terrifying. Her injuries looked like she'd been in a boxing match. She only managed to remove herself after two days of abuse."

Hitchings was jailed for three years and three months.

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Revan Wilde

Revan Wilde
James Hitchings from St Mawes who has been jailed at Truro Crown Court

A selective mute paedophile with a fetish for nappies was caught with dozens of sick images of children. Revan Wilde, AKA Kyle Clarke-Brown, also failed to disclose information to police he was required to as a convicted sex offender.

Wilde, from Camborne, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to failure to comply with his requirements as a sex offender and three making indecent images of children charges. Further offences of possession of prohibited images of children and breach of a sexual harm prevention order were also taken into account.

Prosecuting the case, Ed Bailey described how in 2022 a Facebook account linked to Wilde uploaded one Category A video and one Category B video to social media. Officers attended Wilde's then address and seized electronic devices. On them officers found 24 Category A movies and four stills including a child being raped, 11 Category B movies and 4 images and nine Category C stills.

Google search terms had been made by Wilde relating to his diaper fetish. Mr Bailey then told the court about Wilde's previous court appearances for child abuse images and breaches of his sexual harm prevention order.

Last year Wilde was given a short prison sentence and when released had to inform police if he was of no fixed abode. Despite his obligations being made crystal clear to him, Wilde failed to keep police in the loop.

Enquiries revealed Wilde had been for a few nights living at an address in Camborne. Police attended the address and although Wilde wasn't there, occupants admitted he'd been staying there. Wilde returned during the visit and was arrested.

During interview selective mute Wilde answered questions by writing out answers. The prohibited images charge related to cartoons of children found at Wilde's home last year and the breach of a sexual harm prevention order to him making an Instagram profile and using Cloud storage software without telling police.

Defending Wilde, Ryan Murray said that his client's risk to children was "purely online". Mr Murray said: "He is a social recluse who identifies with the online world. He has autistic traits and epilepsy as well as mental disorders and HMP Exeter is not a comfortable place for him."

Sentencing Wilde, Recorder James Bromige outlined how Wilde is selective mute and has fetishes for diapers and the furry subculture. He said: "Neither fetish is illegal. A citizen is entitled to partake in whatever sexual activity they want as long as it doesn't extend to illegal conduct." Recorder Bromige stated that Wilde's tastes crossed this boundary and became illegal.

He added: "You were in and out of the court system during 2023. You were fully aware of your requirements but seem not to be able or not want to follow court orders put in place to protect the public."

Noting that one of the clips Wilde had showed a female child aged 3-5 being orally raped, he jailed him for 72 weeks. A new sexual harm prevention order was made.

Theo Lgalawuie

A young man frantically stabbed his foster father during a frenzied and terrifying attack. Theo Lgalawuie's actions were caused by mental illness and in court his foster father pleaded for him to receive help and not punishment.

Lgalawuie, 20, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Prosecuting the case, Ramsay Quaife described how Stephen Reeve and his wife Julie took special guardianship of Lgalawuie when he was just 18 months old and raised him as their son.

On the day in question in September 2023, Mr Reeve spoke to Lgalawuie about his treatment of Mr Reeve's wife and Lgalawuie's sibling. He told him that the behaviour couldn't go on or he'd have to move out, although Mr Reeve had no intention of asking Lgalawuie to actually leave.

Mr Quaife said: "When Stephen Reeve said those words it changed everything." Mr Quaife explained how Lgalawuie then smashed a glass and struck Mr Reeve with it. Lgalawuie then went into the kitchen and armed himself with a knife.

Mr Reeve fled to the living room but couldn't close the door due to the amount of blood. Lgalawuie went outside and tried to get through the patio doors and as Mr Reeve tried to stop him, Lgalawuie stabbed him.

Mr Reeve ran to the bedroom and Lgalawuie stabbed him multiple times. Eventually Mr Reeve managed to barricade himself in the bedroom.

Police attended, arrested Lgalawuie and located a bloodstained knife in the garden. Mr Reeve was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and had surgery for numerous stab wounds sustained to the body.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Reeve said that he "feels no hatred" towards Lgalawuie, just sadness, and still thinks of him as a son. He added that his actions were "out of character" and that he is missed loads. He stated that he didn't want him locked up for any long period of time and just wants him to receive the help he needs. Mr Reeve said that Lgalawuie is usually a gentle giant.

Herc Ashworth, representing Lgalawuie, said: "He is deeply sorry and devastated for what he did. He is grateful for the compassion showed by his family. His mental disorder underpins everything that happened that day."

Mr Ashworth added that the "vulnerable" young man has struggled in prison, has been attacked and displayed suicidal intent.

Sentencing Lgalawuie, from Torpoint, Judge Simon Carr described it as "a truly tragic case" in which "there are no easy answers". He said: "At 18 months you moved to live with Mr and Mrs Reeve. They took special guardianship and are who you refer to as your parents.

"You display as on the autistic spectrum and it is clear the challenges you face in every aspect of your life and education."

Judge Carr said that Lgalawuie sees things in black and white and would have taken Mr Reeve's empty threat for him to leave as something very literal and real.

Judge Carr outlined the nature of the offence, and stated his belief that Lgalawuie's mental difficulties caused him to behave in that way. He also commended Mr Reeve's victim impact statement, saying it showed the strength of the bond within the family. Lgalawuie was sentenced to four years in a young offenders' institution.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Isla Ferguson said: “The events that unfolded on Sunday 10th September 2023 will no doubt have a lasting effect on everyone involved in this incident.

“I’d like to thank the victims for their support with what has been a comprehensive investigation. In listening to accounts of the victims we have been able to present a case that has resulted in a guilty plea and the sentence today.

“This sentence is the first step in offering the victims some closure on this matter, the sentence reflects the awful incident that took place. I hope the result goes some way in helping them to move forward, whilst everyone concerned can access the help they may need."

Benjamin Thomas

A convicted child rapist went on the run and left his cats behind to starve before moving onto a Cornwall holiday park. Benjamin Thomas, 32, did a runner from a property in Lancashire but was eventually found in the car park of Asda in Bodmin.

Thomas, most recently of a holiday park in St Martin near Looe, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to failure to comply with notification requirements as a sex offender between August and December 2023.

Prosecuting the case, Ed Bailey told the court how in 2012 Thomas was sentenced to five years in a young offenders' institute for rape and sexual activity with children. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

He was released and has since on numerous occasions failed to adhere to the terms of his registration. Recently Thomas was jailed for one of the breaches, and on release was visited at his then home in Lancashire by a specialist police officer who reminded him of his obligations and that he had to keep police informed of where he was living and any change of address.

Thomas had moved into a flat in Lancashire with his girlfriend but in June 2023 fell behind with his rent. Over the next month, a property manager discovered that Thomas had vacated the property, leaving two cats behind. When contacted he explained there'd been a bereavement and had returned to feed the cats. However, when the property manager attended there was no sign anybody had returned and the cats were feeding off scraps and taken into RSPCA care.

Then, in December 2023, a police officer in Cornwall carried out a check on a Renault parked in Asda Bodmin which showed that the car belonged to Thomas who was wanted by police. Thomas initially gave police a false name and address but then admitted the truth.

Representing Thomas, Barry Hilliard said his client "made an error of judgement".

Sentencing Thomas, Recorder Richard Stead said Thomas has "numerous previous convictions for failing to comply". He added: "You seem to fail to understand the extreme seriousness of the first offence of rape and reasons you're subject to the requirements of the sex offenders' register. If you did you'd ensure you provided police with the new address when you moved."

Noting that there was no evidence of any recent contact with a young person, Thomas was jailed for 12 months.

February

Paul Amoah, Lee Mitchell and Gavin Smale

Gavin Smale, Paul Amoah and Lee Mitchell have been sent to prison for their involvement in the gun and hammer break in in Redruth last July
Revan Wilde who has been jailed at Truro Crown Court -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

Three men were jailed for more than 43 years following a frenzied hammer and gun attack in Cornwall. Paul Amoah, 39 of Hawthorn Close, Redruth, was found guilty of attempted murder, wounding with intent, and aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Lee Mitchell, 28 of Edmond Road, Redruth, was found guilty of two counts of wounding with intent and aggravated burglary and was sentenced to nine years in prison. Gavin Smale, 44 of Fore Street also in Redruth, was found guilty of unlawful wounding and aggravated burglary and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The trio were convicted on Tuesday, January 30, at Truro Crown Court following a two-week trial. The court heard how on the July 6 last year, Amoah, Mitchell, and Smale broke into a property on Drump Road in Redruth armed with a Beretta handgun and a hammer.

All three men had been seen on CCTV travelling to the property in a car. Footage was played to the court which showed Smale standing on the road while both Amoah and Mitchell walked towards the property. Eight minutes later, Amoah, Mitchell, and Smale were seen scattering away from the house leaving two men seriously injured after having been shot and bludgeoned.

The victims, Jaroslavas Gavorskis and Terry Madden, who were known to the offenders, all resided in the property and had been at home when Amoah and Mitchell knocked on the back door. One of the occupants in the house could see a figure at the back door holding a gun and raised the alarm to the other occupants just as Amoah and Mitchell started breaking down the back door.

Once inside, Amoah and Mitchell, who were wearing balaclavas, set about their violent attack with Amoah shooting one of the victims in the back as he tried to flee. Mitchell chased down another victim as he ran upstairs by hitting him repeatedly over the head with a hammer. All the while Smale was outside acting as a lookout.

Upon hearing the commotion, a third victim barricaded himself in his room upstairs but sustained a cut to the head after one of the offender’s tried to force his way into his room. The men then burgled the house taking hundreds of pounds and one of the victim’s passports.

Police were alerted by the ambulance service with reports that a man had been shot in the back. Armed response officers were deployed to the scene and a manhunt was underway.

As part of the investigation, Devon and Cornwall Police trawled through extensive CCTV footage and were able to close the net on the suspects. Smale was located and arrested in a field as he attempted to flee an address on Harmony Close, Redruth. Amoah was found a short time after hiding under a sofa at an address on Cardew Close. Mitchell was arrested the next day.

All were taken into custody, charged and remanded. Following searches inside the property on Harmony Close, a handgun was found wrapped in cloth in a children’s toy basket. DNA evidence on the gun proved to be Amoah’s. A hammer left behind at the crime scene was found to have Mitchell’s DNA evidence on it along with the victim’s blood.

Following the shooting, the gunshot victim was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries and had to undergo multiple operations and blood transfusions. The bullet, which is still lodged in the victim’s chest, had missed his heart by just 2mm. The second victim sustained a laceration to his head and arms, which were not life-threatening as a result of the hammer attack.

During a sentencing hearing at Truro Crown Court today (Monday, March 3) Mr Gavorskis said in a victim impact statement how he had been unable to work since the attack because of the fear and anxiety this has caused him. He said the bullet he received had shattered inside his body and not all fragments had been removed, being so close to his heart, causing him considerable pain.

He said: "I have panic attacks. I am struggling to sleep. I feel vulnerable and fear what could happen in the future. I have had to give up work. I'm unable even to go to the job centre to find jobs. I want to go back to work but I just shut down and hide away from people when I would like to get my life back on track."

Mr Madden said the hammer injuries he had received to the head had left him with sleeping difficulties, with constant migraines and feeling like a prisoner in his own home. In his own victim impact statement he said: "I feel unsafe. What happened will haunt me for the rest of my life. My head is not the same shape it was. I'm in constant pain. Every time I cut my hair I'm reminded of what these people have done to me."

In mitigation for Mitchell it was heard that he still refused to accept his involvement in the vicious attack. He had been living with his long term partner at the time with whom he has three children. His barrister told the court that Mitchell was working in a kitchen at the time and had hoped to join the British Army, having passed the first aptitude tests for it, but because of the death of his grandmother he was unable to start when he should and got mixed up with his co-defendants instead.

His solicitor said his good character had been exemplified by his actions when, before the incident, he saved a child from a car after it rolled on its roof during a crash as he drove behind it. He added that sending him to prison will mean the responsibility of raising the children will now fall solely on his partner and he will miss them growing up, adding: "While in custody he has signed up and completed various courses including an emergency first aid course and works in the workshop as a leading cleaner. He has lost so much as a result of the stupidity of his actions and will have lost key years in bringing up his children, and lost career opportunities."

In defence of Smale it was heard that he had been a man of good character and got involved in class A drugs but certainly was not in charge that day. His solicitor added: "He was desperate and weak and lacked the courage to resist."

Sentencing the three men to a total of more than 43 years in prison, Judge Simon Carr said Mitchell and Amoah had both been prepared to inflict serious harm on their victims and both victims had suffered serious physical and psychological harm as a result of the violent attack, the ramifications of which were still being felt today.

He said: "All involved in the drug trade whether as users or suppliers know that raiding other drug dealers has many benefits in that there will be cash and drugs at the premises. There is also the knowledge that those involved in the drug trade will be reluctant to involve the authorities.

"Someone suggested the address because it was your suppliers and how little threat they posed. So you all agreed to go to the premises. Mr Smale, you knocked on the door to gain entry as someone who had been there before. You were aware that your co-defendants were armed. Mr Amoah and Mr Mitchell, you were prepared to use force, including deadly force. Your victims must have been terrified. They responded by trying to fire a broken air rifle at you which caused you, Mr Amoah, to fire into the back of a fleeing individual. You intended to kill that person.

"The injuries you caused to your victims have been significant, the psychological and physical ramifications of which are still being felt today."

After the hearing Detective Inspector Dave Egan, the senior investigating officer in this case, said: “Amoah kept a dangerous firearm at his home without fear. He brazenly took it out on the streets and into another person’s home with the intent on causing serious harm to someone who, when faced with such a weapon, had no choice but to flee resulting in him to be shot in the back as he did so.

“The victim suffered extremely serious, life-threatening injuries, had to go through multiple operations and is extremely lucky to be alive today. He avoided being killed by a couple of millimetres. While firearms offences are extremely rare in this county, sadly we see all too often people losing their lives or being seriously injured through drug-related violence."

He added: “My officers worked tirelessly on this investigation to ensure the individuals responsible were brought to justice. I would like to thank them for their hard work and diligence in this case which shows how devastating the consequences of gun crime can be, not only on victims and their families but also the wider community.

"It should also send a message that if you arm yourself with any kind of a weapon, the chances are you will end up behind bars, seriously or fatally hurting someone, or getting seriously hurt yourself. It really isn’t worth the risk."

Superintendence Ian Thompson, police commander of west Cornwall, said: "Fortunately, offences of this type and seriousness are extremely rare in Cornwall, but when they do occur this understandably causes significant concern in the local community.

"The police response to this incident was swift and professional with the suspects identified and arrested quickly. In the days and weeks that followed, local officers provided high visibility patrols to reassure the community whilst detectives pursued their investigation.

"We are extremely grateful for the support and cooperation we received from the community and our partners who pulled together and assisted police with their enquiries. We value and depend on the support of our communities to assist us in the fight against crime and we continue to encourage the public to report issues to us so we can improve our intelligence and proactively target criminals."

If you have any information or concerns about someone carrying a weapon, please report it to Devon & Cornwall Police online here, or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively you can report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Your information could help save a life.

Jason Thomas

Theo Lgalawuie who was sentenced at Truro Crown Court
Theo Lgalawuie who was sentenced at Truro Crown Court

A paedophile who was jailed for grooming an "extremely vulnerable" child before having sex with her reoffended "almost immediately" after he was released from prison. Jason Thomas, 42, was jailed in 2021 after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and engaging in sexual communication with a child.

He was given a five-year prison sentence, of which he served half, and when he was released in 2023 he had to abide by a sexual harm prevention order which banned him from downloading certain apps, using certain websites and trying to conceal his identity online, among other things.

But Thomas, of Pendeen, breached the order 12 times and found himself back before Judge Simon Carr at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty before magistrates.

Prosecuting, Katie Churcher said: "The background to that order being that it was imposed for a period of ten years following his conviction in 2021 with two counts of sexual interaction with a child. Following his release from custody, after he served what had been half of what was a five-year sentence, he was visited in Bridgewater by DC Allen and given another copy of the prevention order and handed over his phone.

"At that time they saw that the application Snapchat was on there. He was told the main feature of Snapchat is auto-deletion so was told he couldn't have that on the phone and it was deleted and he was reminded he needed permission to set up social media accounts.

"He was visited again unannounced on Jan 15 and handed over his phone again. He volunteered he had been using Whatsapp and said he'd been using Snapchat but had deleted it.

"My Google Activity was looked at to check internet history, there were searches for pornography and pornographic videos, it looked as though he had been deleting his internet history, and he had been using social media accounts that had been deleted including Tinder, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, various other live streaming apps, and private browsing applications.

"There was also an uninstalled VPN which conceals online IP addresses. It had been installed and deinstalled. Lastly they found his email account had been accessed, used and deleted. He was arrested for those breaches and interviewed on Jan 15. In essence, he made admission and when he was spoken to he said he had been doing things he shouldn't do."

Robin Smith, for Thomas' defence, said: "This man is very realistic about his position and his fate, perhaps the best mitigating factor is that he was extremely frank and candid with the police from the moment of arrest. Having spoken to him face to face he remains realistic and he appreciates he has some big problems to deal with.

"He is now in a state where he can accept the help given to him."

Sentencing, Judge Carr acknowledged Thomas' early plea and gave him full credit and added that the defendant's remorse seemed genuine. He said: "The circumstances of your offending is extremely troubling. Inevitably a sexual harm prevention order was made for a substantial period of time.

"After serving your sentence you were released on licence. It was clear you started offending almost immediately after you were released. What was found on the phone... is that you had set up a number of accounts and done everything possible to hide your identity. You put on devices to clear your history. You accessed sites that you would immediately delete like Snapchat.

"This is a serious breach of a sexual harm prevention order and you must have known so at the time. You have expressed remorse but you still present a high risk to children and I suspect you will do for a very long time."

Judge Carr sentenced Thomas to two 2.5-year sentences, which will run concurrently, giving him a total sentence of 2.5 years imprisonment. He will be eligible for parole after serving half the term.

Previously, we reported how Thomas groomed a vulnerable child before having sex with her. He later told the girl that he’d be going to prison but the feeling of the encounter was “the best feeling he’d ever had”.

Andrew May

Two women's lives became a living nightmare when a vile stalker became infatuated with them and inflicted months of distressing abuse upon them and their families, a court heard.

Andrew May's reign of terror was so bad that one of his victims was forced to move home so he could no longer find her. The 52-year-old North Parade in Camborne, spent a year between October 2022 and October 2023 stalking one his victims at or near her home, shouting foul abuse and causing significant distress.

Between August 2019 and October 2023, May also stalked a second woman and caused her to fear that violence would be used against her. On Friday, February 23 at Truro Crown Court, May pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking involving serious alarm and distress, over the course of 21 months and 16 months respectively. He also admitted cultivation of cannabis.

Prosecutor Michael Brown said that in the case of his first victim, May's first victim was forced to install CCTV surveillance equipment at her home after his abusive stalking became so bad including checking up on her wherever she went, and damaging some of her property and that of her family.

With regards to his second victim, Mr Brown told the court that May's became totally infatuated with her and would turn up at her house several times a day, leaving gifts at her home and even breaking in to steal stuff from inside her house. Mr Brown said that May taunted his victim by stalking around her house for hours and then apologised for masturbating on her doorstep.

The court heard that the situation became so bad that his victim had to resort to pretend not to be at home and was even forced to move address so his constant harassment would stop. Ramsay Quaife, defending, said May had fallen into a hole which got worse through his drug use.

Sentencing May to a total of six years in prison, Judge Simon Carr said May's actions had been truly "chilling". He also issued a restraining without time limit, preventing May from contacting either woman.

Ryan Williams

An out-of-control teenager who went on a crime spree that included robbery, attacks on police officers and threats to stab members of the public is now behind bars. Ryan Williams, 19, was sentenced to four years in a young offenders’ facility after admitting a litany of offences.

Williams most recently resided in Penzance but all of the offences took place in Camborne, where he was living at the time, between November 2023 and the end of January 2024. When he appeared at Truro Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, a racially aggravated harassment offence, robbery, two attempted robberies, criminal damage, further public order offences and possession of Class A drugs.

On November 23, 2023, Williams was arrested in Camborne town centre by plain clothes officers on a separate matter and, as he was arrested, he kicked an officer in the groin. He continued to be abusive and resistant and made racial slurs at another officer. When Williams was searched at the station Class A drugs were found in his possession.

Williams, on December 27, 2023, threatened two people at a property in Camborne with a large machete-type knife in an attempted robbery. He left empty handed.

Then, on January 2, 2024, Williams attended a business in Camborne at approximately 9.30am. He demanded money and threatened to stab a staff member, telling him he’d be waiting for him outside.

Williams then proceeded to be verbally abusive and threatened to stab an intervening security staff member. A short while later he returned to the business and continued to shout abuse and make threats to staff inside.

Later, on January 6, Williams took part in a planned street robbery where he met someone who was selling an Xbox on Facebook. Once he met the seller he pushed her over, in the presence of her young son, and grabbed the Xbox and then ran away.

Jack Nottle

Jack Nottle, 20, of Hampstead Terrace, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Friday 23 February to four and a half years in young offenders institution after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary.
Benjamin Thomas, who was jailed at Truro Crown Court on Monday January 29

A man who was involved in a knife-point burglary where two people were wounded has been jailed. Three masked men, dressed all in black, entered a premises in Bodmin and assaulted people inside, during the incident on August 24, 2023.

A woman was in her hallway when the three men entered her property through the back door and went straight upstairs into one of the bedrooms. She followed them upstairs and as she tried to intervene in an attack on her son, they ended on the landing where she sustained a cut to her hand.

Demands for money were made before the suspects ran out the back door. Approximately £500 was missing from a drawer. The woman’s son recalled demands being made for money whilst a knife was held to him and £200-£300 taken from his wallet. The son sustained cuts to the left arm and chest area.

Shortly after, police attended an address in Bodmin and arrested Jack Nottle. His property was searched and clothing, trainers, a wallet containing money and phone were seized. Officers also found a large Rambo-style knife on top of a fuse box.

While swabs were being taken in his cell Nottle asked “am I the only one that’s been arrested?” The other two suspects were never identified. Forensics on his clothes and the knife led to the guilty plea being entered.

Nottle, 20, of Hampstead Terrace, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Friday, February 23, to four-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institution after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary.

Following the sentence, detective sergeant Northcott from the CID at Bodmin Police Station, said: “In recent times, Bodmin has seen its share of crime where offenders carry knives in order to instil fear on others or inflict serious harm. Those involved in this aggravated burglary have entered a family home with the intention of causing harm to those inside whilst armed with a knife.

“This is not acceptable and will not only have affected the victims but also the wider community. The actions of police officers attending this incident allowed for key evidence to be obtained to support this investigation including the recovery of a knife from circulation that the offenders had no lawful or logical reason to possess.

“In cases such as this, it is important for victims and witnesses to come forward and I commend those involved in this case for their commitment to this investigation. The sentencing in this case should act as a deterrent to those choosing to carry knives and also provide some reassurance to the community that people carrying knives will be pursued by police and that the courts will hand down immediate custodial sentences to those found guilty.

“Should people have information about individuals that carry knives, the information can be shared by accessing the Devon and Cornwall Police website.”

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Elisha Hart

A drunken menace has been jailed for punching and kicking a man who tried to help her during a late night row. Elisha Hart, 27, forced her way into the man's property and attacked him.

Hart, from the St Austell area, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to assault and breach of a criminal behaviour order.

Prosecuting the case, Ed Bailey told the court how after midnight on January 3, the victim of the assault, Mr Richards, was asleep at his home in St Austell. He was woken by the sound of an argument from the next door property.

Mr Richards went outside and saw Hart and told her it was late and she should go away and come back another time. Hart said that she'd been ripped off by the occupant of the property and that she had her clothes and tobacco. The occupant threw the clothes out of the window and Hart started banging on the window.

Hart said to Mr Richards, "what's it to do with you?" as she held a bottle of wine. Hart pushed Mr Richards backwards and he told her there was no need and she should leave. Hart pushed Mr Richards once again and elbowed another male trying to intervene.

Mr Richards noticed Hart had blood on her so went into his address to get a wet wipe. Mr Bailey described how Hart followed him in and locked the door. He asked her what she was doing and tried to bundle her out but during the altercation Hart punched him twice in the face. Mr Richards managed to get the door open but lost balance and fell to the floor in the hallway, at which point Hart kicked him to the nose.

The court heard how Hart has 23 previous convictions for 47 offences and is subject to a criminal behaviour order preventing her from causing drunken trouble in public.

Representing Hart, Martin Pearce said that Hart "presents as very different" since being remanded and subsequently sobering up. He said: "She is an alcoholic and suffers dreadfully with alcoholism. In prison she dries up and becomes a better person."

Mr Pearce said that when Hart was released from her last period of incarceration, her mum wouldn't take her back in so she fell back in with the wrong crowd and started drinking again.

Sentencing Hart, Recorder Richard Stead said: "You have got to change this cycle. The victim in this case was an ordinary member of public trying to help you."

Noting Hart's genuine remorse, Recorder Stead jailed her for 12 months.

Shaun Antony Quinn, Daniel Bridson, Daniel Stanton, Simon John Mitchell and John Arnaud

Simon John Mitchell from Saltash (top left), Shaun Antony Quinn from Merseyside (top right), John Arnaud from Saltash (bottom left), Daniel Bridson from Merseyside (middle) and Daniel Stanton from Merseyside (bottom right) are facing a long time in jail for their conspiracy to supply heroin to Cornwall from Liverpool
Gavin Smale, Paul Amoah and Lee Mitchell have been sent to prison for their involvement in the gun and hammer break in in Redruth last July -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A gang of county lines dealers who posted almost 50kg of Class A drugs to Cornwall from Liverpool using the post have been jailed for a total of 47 years.

Shaun Antony Quinn, 37, of Greenhill Road, Allerton, Merseyside, Daniel Bridson, 46, Round Hey, Stockbridge Village also in Merseyside, Daniel Stanton, 34, of Finch Meadow Close, Fazakerley near Liverpool as well as Simon John Mitchell, 34, of Lower Fore Street, Saltash and John Arnaud, 52, a postman from Wentworth Way also in Saltash all faced charges of supplying heroin. Quinn and Bridson also faced a separate charge relating to the supply of cocaine between August 2021 and July 2023.

All five were arrested last July as part of a joint operation between Devon and Cornwall Police and Merseyside Police into drug trafficking.

The two forces executed a number of warrants as part of a joint investigation into county lines drug supply. The police probe, codenamed Operation Modular, was launched by Merseyside Police's specialist county lines unit, Project Medusa, to tackle drug dealing and child criminal exploitation.

During a sentencing hearing at Truro Crown Court on March 1, it was heard that some 47kg of heroin was posted from the Liverpool area to Cornwall and Devon in recorded delivery parcels using the Royal Mail, while 100 packages containing cash were sent back to Liverpool again using the Royal Mail. The court was told the drugs were estimated to have a street value of between £1m and £2m. Devon and Cornwall Police put the value at £4m being posted back to Merseyside.

The court heard how police launched an investigation when they were alerted to goings on at Mitchell's address with parcels being sent to him in the Plymouth area as well as Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Callington, Looe and later Saltash.

Further investigations led the force to link Mitchell and Arnaud to addresses in Merseyside which eventually led to police raids on properties in the area.

Jason Beal, prosecuting, told the court that prior to the warrants being carried out, officers from the two forces had been gathering intelligence and information about the group’s activities. This included capturing them on CCTV posting parcels and monitoring where these were being sent to.

As police forced entry on the property in Liverpool where Stanton and Quinn were present, they ran out the back door and threw items over the fence in an attempt to discard them. This was captured by police on camera and the items were able to be recovered, including approximately 1kg of heroin and a parcel containing a large quantity of cash.

Clothing, drugs, cash and other paraphernalia was also found at the other addresses that were searched, further linking the group to the activities and to each other. A hydraulic press was also recovered which had been used to package up the drugs.

Sentencing the five men to almost 50 years in prison, Judge Simon Carr said the heroin and cocaine posted to Cornwall would have caused enormous misery in the county. He said the manner with which the Class A drug transited from one end of the country to the other was startlingly simple - by post.

The court heard how the use of the Royal Mail avoided having to rely on couriers travelling by road or rail and therefore minimised the risk of arrests in transit.

Some of the heroin and cash seized by police in Cornwall and Merseyside as part of a county lines operation which saw up to 50kg of dugs being posted to Cornwall using the Royal Mail
-Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

Judge Carr said this had been a "substantial conspiracy to supply Class A drugs into Cornwall" which involved large packages of drugs coming down from Liverpool to Cornwall and packages of money travelling the other way, adding that it must have been part of a much larger conspiracy with several layers above the defendants.

He added: "It was a startlingly simple use of the Royal Mail as it avoided the needs to move the drugs by road or rail and avoided the risks of being stopped. The misery these drugs would have caused in Cornwall cannot be underestimated."

Judge Carr said Quinn had played a leading role in the conspiracy albeit at the bottom end of the leading role scale. He said Mitchell's role had also been equally significant since the police investigation had started with him and he must have been involved from the start. He said the other three had played slightly less significant roles with Bridson and Arnaud being at the bottom of the food chain.

In Quinn's defence it was heard that his role had not been as significant as claimed as he had only joined the conspiracy half way through, and he was just 'the cut out' or middle man between those who gave him messages higher up the food chain in Liverpool and those in Cornwall. His solicitor said he had been involved because of gambling habit which Judge Carr said was not a habit but a known way for drug dealers to launder drug money.

His defence added: "He was just a mid level operative trying to pay off his brother's drug debt. It is unusual for people in leading roles to have drugs in their own homes as it is the sort of risk those in leading roles try to avoid."

Stanton's solicitor also said his role had been limited to low level stuff while Bridston's solicitor told the court: "This is not his world. He was asked to launder money through is account and received payment for it. Then he was offered £100 for every parcel he would handle. He was living with his mother at the time and thought it was not bad money for not much work. He never received huge rewards from his involvement. He's not someone who has accumulated vast wealth. he just made some misguided decisions."

In the defence of Arnaud it was heard that he was employed as a postman at the time and was approached by his co-accused and became involved to finance a drug addiction.

Quinn was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison, Mitchell was banged up for 10 years while Stanton received a nine-year jail sentence and Bridston and Arnaud each received eight years.

After the hearing Detective Chief Inspector Ian Jolliff, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Operation Modular was a joint operation with Merseyside Police, led by the Cornwall proactive team to tackle drug supply within east Cornwall. This was a lengthy investigation which concluded with a day of action on Thursday 6th July 2023, where in excess of 50 colleagues from both forces combined to carry out simultaneous search warrants in Cornwall and Liverpool.

"This operation has disrupted very significant amounts of class A drugs from arriving into our communities and I’m grateful for the collaboration between both forces to combat this organised crime group. The sentences imposed reflect the seriousness of their criminality and should assist in discouraging others from conducting similar activity."

Detective sergeant Gerard Farley, from Merseyside Police, added: “Officers from Project Medusa – Merseyside’s initiative to tackle county lines drug dealing and criminal exploitation, continue to work alongside colleagues from Devon and Cornwall to close county lines and safeguard vulnerable individuals from the grip of toxic gangs.

“Today’s sentencing shows the success of working together with other forces to take suspected county lines offenders off our streets. Our work to catch these criminals and bring them to justice continues on a daily basis and I would ask anyone who has information about this kind of activity to come forward so action can be taken."

March

Thomas Higgins

Thomas Higgins, 40, drove 'at force' into his now wife Tammy Higgins following an argument in Redruth
Ryan Williams, 19, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court to four years in a young offenders facility after pleading guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, a racially aggravated harassment offence, robbery, two attempted robberies, criminal damage, further public order offences and possession of Class A drugs.

A Royal Marine who drove at speed into his wife, catapulting her through the air following an argument was sentenced to prison this month. Thomas Higgins, 40, drove at speed into his wife on May 7 in Redruth.

It was after a disagreement in which she kicked and hit his car. What he did was described in court as a "serious offence that nobody could dispute". Higgins, of Lydcot Walk in Plymouth, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm by a jury at a trial held in Truro Crown Court in January.

He had previously pleaded guilty to a second charge of dangerous driving and appeared at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on March 20. The court heard how the incident was captured on CCTV which showed Higgins involved in a brief argument with the victim who was outside of the vehicle in Bond Street at the time.

His wife was then described to "hit and kick" the vehicle before walking around it, to which Higgins responded by deliberately driving into her path, running her over.

Despite being sent 10 to 12 feet in the air, following the collision the victim suffered no major injuries and was seen limping away by a witness. The court heard the assault could have caused serious injury, broken bones and ultimately, death.

The judge said the offences were too serious to consider anything less than a custodial prison sentence and that it was clear that his now wife was in full view of him when he drove into her "at force". Higgins was sentenced to three years imprisonment, which the judge remarked was the minimum possible sentence he could offer in the circumstances. Read the full story here.

Robert Tamblyn

Jack Nottle, 20, of Hampstead Terrace, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Friday 23 February to four-and-a-half years in a young offenders institution after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police
Jack Nottle, 20, of Hampstead Terrace, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Friday 23 February to four-and-a-half years in a young offenders institution after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A stalker ex-boyfriend threatened to shoot his former partner in the vagina so she couldn't have sex anymore and said he would shoot her new partner too. Robert Neil Tamblyn, 64, pleaded guilty to three offences carried out in February during which he installed a tracker on his victim's car, threatened her in front of her children and assaulted her.

Tamblyn, of Gotch Gardens in East Taphouse, had previously admitted to harassment, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and making threats to kill. He appeared at Truro Crown Court on March 22 for sentencing.

The court heard Tamblyn had installed a tracker on his victim's car so that he could stalk her, as well as leaving flowers on her vehicle between February 1 and 4. This was despite her never telling him her location.

On February 3 he attended her address, threatened to fill his car up with petrol, drive into her house and set it alight. He also assaulted his victim on that same day and threatened to shoot her, her new partner and then himself.

It was heard how he made those threats to kill in the presence of children, including threats of "significant violence". Reading a victim impact statement from inside the witness box, the victim said his behaviour left her terrified for the future.

Addressing the court, the victim said: "Tamblyn's behaviour and actions throughout this incident terrified me and I remain frightened for my safety, my children's safety and my boyfriend's safety

"I'm really frightened of the repercussions long-term for my life, my children's lives and my new partner's life because Tamblyn said he has got nothing to lose. I'm frightened he is going to kill me."

Tamblyn was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment after a 25 per cent discount for his guilty plea. A restraining order has been fixed for ten years, preventing him from contacting the victim, her partner and children and from entering a mapped area surrounding her place of residence. Read the full story here.

Matthew Adams

Elisha Hart who was jailed at Truro Crown Court
Elisha Hart who was jailed at Truro Crown Court

A vile burglar left a boy, aged five, feeling unsafe in his home and questioning if 'the bad guy' would return. Matthew Adams, of no fixed abode, broke into at least nine homes from Penzance to St Austell between November 2023 and January 2024.

Adams, 44, from the Penzance area, pleaded guilty to three counts of domestic burglary and appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing today (March 22). Described as a "prolific burglar" with a significant criminal history, including 24 previous convictions for 66 offences, many of which related to domestic and commercial burglaries, some of his victims appeared in court awaiting the outcome.

The court heard how one of the victims, living in St Austell, drove his wife to work on the morning of November 23, 2023, returning home just ten minutes later. He saw Adams fleeing from the home and tried to follow him but was unsuccessful.

The second victim returned home with his five-year-old son at around 4pm on that same day to find the window on his kitchen door smashed. He found cash, Tiffany cufflinks, a watch and his bank card had been stolen and £300 worth of damage was caused.

The incident had shaken them both with the victim upgrading his security system which cost him £700. In a statement, he explained the defendant had "shattered something [he'd] been trying to build" which was a safe environment for his son.

A third victim, living in Penzance, returned from holiday on December 31, 2023, to find her kitchen window had been smashed. Silverware, jewellery, cashmere jumpers and a large carton of 200 cigarettes were among the items stolen. Among the jewellery taken was a £1,000 watch that was never recovered.

Adams was sentenced to 876 days imprisonment. Read the full story, here.

April

Kevin Davis

Convicted sex offender Kevin Davis has been sentenced to a further two and a half years in prison for breaching a court order made previously to try and stop him offending.

A convicted sex offender has been sentenced to a further two and a half years in prison for breaching a court order made previously to try and stop him offending. Kevin Davis, 60, was residing at a bail hostel in Camborne after being released from HMP Channings Wood on 17 August 2023, where he had been serving a previous sentence.

After his release, monitoring software was installed on Davis’ laptop. But on October 3, 2023, police were notified that the laptop linked to Davis had been operated in a concerning manner.

Examination of the laptop found that Davis had viewed a small number of Category C indecent images of children. Davis, contrary to the terms of his previously issued SHPO, had also deleted search history from the device.

Davis was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday, April 2, after entering a guilty plea to a breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) at the start of what was due to be a two-day trial.

At the sentencing hearing, Davis was reminded of the terms of his SHPO - designed to limit his access to children and stringently monitor his internet usage - and sentenced to a new term of imprisonment. Davis must also sign the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.

PC Mark Kutler-Pearce, from the public protection unit based in Bodmin, said: “Davis has a long history of offending behaviour and upon his release in August 2023 was being stringently monitored by the police Public Protection Unit.

“The further sentence given to Davis at court on April 2 has kept a dangerous individual from committing further offences towards members of the public and we feel the sentencing is just for the crime.”

Jake Hill, Tia Taylor and Chelsea Powell

Some of the heroin and cash seized by police in Cornwall and Merseyside as part of a county lines operation which saw up to 50kg of dugs being posted to Cornwall using the Royal Mail -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police / Merseyside Police
Some of the heroin and cash seized by police in Cornwall and Merseyside as part of a county lines operation which saw up to 50kg of dugs being posted to Cornwall using the Royal Mail -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police / Merseyside Police

Three people have been put behind bars for a combined 31 years following a deadly knife rampage near a nightclub in Cornwall last year which altered the lives of so many in just thirty seconds.

Rugby player Michael Riddiough-Allen, 32, died at the scene from his injuries and five others were injured in the frenzied attack that broke out outside Eclipse in Bodmin in April 2023.

Jake Hill, 25, Tia Taylor, 22, and Chelsea Powell, 22, all from the Bodmin area, faced charges over the incident. The trio were convicted on March 18 following a six-week trial held at Truro Crown Court - and have been sentenced on Friday, April 12.

A jury in March found Hill guilty of murder and guilty of four counts of wounding with intent. He was found not guilty of another charge of wounding with intent and unlawful wounding.

Thomas Higgins, 40, drove 'at force' into his now wife Tammy Higgins following an argument in Redruth -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police
Thomas Higgins, 40, drove 'at force' into his now wife Tammy Higgins following an argument in Redruth -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

Powell was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter but guilty of perverting the course of justice by the jury. Taylor changed her plea to guilty of perverting the course of justice and to manslaughter part way through the trial.

Hill, of Jubilee Terrace, was given a life sentence and was sentenced to serve a minimum of 28 years before being eligible for parole, reduced to 27 years and 18 days in prison taking the time he has already been in custody into account. He will remain on licence for the rest of his life if released.

Taylor was sentenced to three years imprisonment for her involvement. She will serve half of that and will then be released on licence.

Powell was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. The judge directed she too should serve half of that sentence and as she has been on remand for nine months, she was released immediately.

In her sentencing remarks High Court Judge the Honourable Mrs Justice Cutts called the night in which Mr Riddiough-Allen lost his life one of "carnage". Addressing the three defendants, she said: "On the evidence I heard, all in the Eclipse had a good time but as people started to leave violence erupted in the road outside. That violence had nothing to do with any of the three of you and there was absolutely no reason why you could not have followed the others in your group and by not getting involved you could have headed home."

She rejected Jake Hill’s reasons for carrying the knife, saying that "experience shows that those who carry them are quick to use them", but that there is "no justifications for carrying a weapon in a public place". She told Hill he had no reason to be carrying a knife, let alone one as dangerous as this one, and that he "liked the image of being a hardman" and showed not "one shred of remorse" and "absolutely no regret".

During the lengthy trial the court heard how Hill had hidden a hunting knife in a hedge near to the nightclub before he entered it that night. He later picked it up as he left the club around 3am. Prosecutors said that when a fight broke out between around 15 revellers in the street, which Hill was not originally involved in, Hill used it to either stab or slash his victims. It was alleged that both Taylor and Powell had joined in with the attack on Mr Riddiough-Allen, but none of the others.

It heard how Mr Riddiough-Allen, who suffered a single "un-survivable" knife wound, was the fifth person to be stabbed. The much-loved rugby player was unarmed and had been trying to separate the various fighting groups when he was fatally injured. Taylor was said to have punched the deceased several times to the head as he lay on the road in a defensive position.

Hill was arrested by armed police at the home of Taylor in the early hours after stabbing Mr Riddiough-Allen. During an armed stand-off Taylor appeared from the house holding her two young children.

Taylor told police Hill wasn't inside her home but a video played during the trial showed her toddler telling police he was in the loft. Prosecutors told the jury Taylor and Powell "both individually deliberately lied to police as to events that evening" to "frustrate the police investigation".

Powell told the court that she never saw the knife, didn't know Hill had one and regretted her decision to answer no comment in a police interview after the incident. She told the jury the night out had been a rare night off from her two young children, who were 10 months old and just under three years old at the time.

She was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter but guilty of perverting the course of justice. Taylor initially denied the charges against her but later admitted her involvement during the trial, changing her pleas to guilty part-way through.

After the verdict the Crown Prosecution Service called the attack "cowardly," saying: "Jake Hill went for a night out with friends armed with a knife. That decision culminated in a cowardly attack that tragically took the life of Michael Riddiough-Allen, an unarmed man who was just trying to break up a fight."

The families of Michael Riddiough-Allen and the three defendants united in a stand against knife crime following the verdict. Reading out the joint statement, Michael's sister said: “If a change does not happen then many more families will stand on court steps, broken from the loss that knife crime brings.”

Detective Inspector Ilona Rosson, from Devon and Cornwall Police’s the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Michael Riddiough-Allen tried to protect those around him and disarm a man who felt the need to carry a knife. In doing so, he tragically he lost his life.

“This case highlights the devastation and irreversible damage that carrying and using a knife can cause. No good can come from it.

“This was an incredibly complex and challenging investigation. I would like to thank the investigation team for their tireless dedication to bringing the offenders to justice.

“I’d also like to thank the family of Michael Riddiough-Allen and the surviving victims. They have supported our investigation through the most challenging of times and I commend them for the strength and courage they have shown.

“I hope that the sentences imposed by the judge and the conclusion of this case brings them some closure.”

Aaron Roberts

Police photo of Aaron Roberts
-Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for rape and four other sexual offences against a teenage girl in Camborne. Aaron Roberts, 33, committed the crimes in Cornwall between May and September 2020.

Roberts, from the Swindon area but of no fixed abode, was found guilty by a jury following a two-day trial in December 2023. The court heard that the victim revealed to her family in May 2021 what Roberts had done to her, which was then reported to the police.

Detectives leading the investigation revealed that Roberts had sent the victim inappropriate images of himself via social media. He also forced her into performing sexual acts on him before he raped her. Pleading not guilty meant that Roberts forced his victim to relive her horrific ordeal at his hands in court.

Officers uncovered messages sent by Roberts to the victim where he stated, 'have to do it again one day', believed to be referring to the sexual acts. He also suggested they should erase the messages.

Upon his arrest and subsequent interview in November 2021, Roberts consistently denied all allegations, stating: "I'm telling you now, I wouldn't do any of that."

Despite pleading not guilty to the charges, the jury unanimously found Roberts guilty of rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child, attempted rape and sexual communication with a child after a brief deliberation.

Roberts stood before the court at Truro Crown Court on 18 April, where HHJ Judge Robert Linford handed down an eight-year prison sentence. Additionally, Roberts is required to sign the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

Detective Constable Distin, the investigating officer, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for her bravery and immense courage in coming forward to police to report this crime.

"Nothing will take away the trauma that she has been through, but we hope that some reassurance can be offered in knowing that supporting a prosecution has brought this man to justice.

"We truly hope that this outcome gives other victims the strength to come forward and report incidents of rape and sexual assault to police and reassures them that we have mechanisms in place to help support victims throughout the process."

Detective Inspector Andy Shortern, the senior investigating officer, welcomed the sentence, saying: "We welcome today's sentence, I would like to thank the victim for reporting to us and supporting the investigation. This result would not have been possible without the victim's courage.

"I would also like to praise detectives from the West Cornwall Public Protection Unit for their tenacity and commitment which has resulted in this dangerous offender being brought to justice."

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing this morning
-Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

An alcoholic who beat up her own mum but was spared jail has run out of chances. Danielle Allen, 34, from Frogpool, Truro, appeared before Truro Crown Court today (Friday, April 26) for sentencing after breaching a restraining order made against her in April 2022 when she inflicted actual bodily harm on her own mum during an incident in College Green, St Austell.

At the time, Allen received a 15-month custodial sentence suspended for two years along with an alcohol rehabilitation requirement order, a mental health requirement order and a restraining order not to contact her mother for five years. The court heard how over the next two years Allen only attended about 50 per cent of her appointments with probation and addiction services and could not at times justify her absences as she was under the influence of alcohol.

It was also heard that she breached her restraining order last December when she went to her mother's address, albeit as her defence barrister said, only to drop off Christmas presents for her child.

She pleaded guilty to the breach in January this year and has remained on remand since. The court heard from her barrister that the services being such that there is no capacity or prospect of a residential rehabilitation treatment at present. In mitigation it was heard that Allen is "desperate to progress on what she has already achieved" and she has now been sober for a significant period of time.

Her barrister said: "She has been tarred by the fact that in the past she didn't properly tackle her alcohol addiction but she wants to demonstrate what she can do. She has been sober for a significant period of time and wants to maintain that going forward. We would ask that she is given the chance to be the sober Danielle Allen not the person the courts have been familiar with."

His Honour Judge Simon Carr said Allen is an alcoholic who can't drink any alcohol under any circumstances "because it will spiral out of control eventually", adding: "Today is the first time you actually understand that."

He said: "In April 2022 you subjected your mother to an assault for which you faced a prison sentence. But the court decided to give you a chance to sort out your alcohol addiction. You have only attended 50 per cent of your appointments. Probations services have been gentle to give you every possible chance to comply. In December you attended your mother's address and matters escalated and the police were called.

"I accept the strides you have made forward in addressing your addiction." Sentencing Allen to eight months in prison for the breach of the restraining order, with half the sentence having already been served while on remand, Judge Carr told Allen: "You only have a few weeks to prepare yourself for the shock of release."

Kai Pink

Kai Pink, from Newquay, beat up his mum with a wooden sword while she slept during an attack at her home in November 2023  - he's been sentenced to four and half yeas in prison
Convicted sex offender Kevin Davis has been sentenced to a further two and a half years in prison for breaching a court order made previously to try and stop him offending. -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A woman, who was beaten with a wooden sword by her own son while she slept was so badly injured she looked like she had been in a car crash, a court heard. The mum was woken by the brutal beating and was heard screaming for help by neighbours.

Kai Pink, 26, from Pendeen Place in Pargolla Road, Newquay, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding with a view to cause grievous bodily harm. He changed his plea to guilty when he appeared for the first day of what had been scheduled as a three-day trial at Truro Crown Court on Monday, April 29.

Ryan Murray, prosecuting, told the court how on November 12 last year, Pink went to his mother's address following a night out with friends. He went into her home and walked to her bedroom upstairs where his mother slept. It was then that he repeatedly hit her with a black wooden sword.

Pink's mother woke up in agony and terror as her own son was beating her and was heard by neighbours screaming for help as she tried to flee and escape the blows. The court was told how Pink chased his mum down the stairs and out the house and continued to pummel her with his wooden sword.

Mr Murray said that in their witness statements some of the neighbours described her screams as "life or death screams" as Pink's mother shouted for help. Alerted by the horrific screams, several neighbours in the small close came out of their homes. Two of them managed to restrain Pink while others, including a paramedic living in the street, attended to Pink's mum's medical needs.

Mr Murray told the court that police and ambulance attended and Pink's mother was first taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske in Truro before being transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. He said: "She was treated in hospital for a catalogue of injuries.

"She had wounds to her head and hand. Her right elbow was fractured and she had three broken ribs and a punctured lung. One of the neighbours said she resembled someone who had been in a car crash."

Mr Murray added: "Mr Pink's mother had been asleep when her own son attacked her and as she tried to flee he kept beating her on the back of the head, her back and shoulders as she did so. There were trails of blood found in her house going from her bedroom, down the stairs, to the back of the house."

The prosecutor said Pink's motivations for the attack had been strange, and he alleged to the police that his mum had told him to kill himself. After being arrested, Pink at first refused all legal aid and advice that was being offered to him, telling officers he was guilty for what he did and there was no point. In interviews he later said that he had been out to the pub and was so drunk he had no memory of the events between leaving the pub and ending up in police custody.

Ramsay Quaife, defending, told the court that Pink is a man with no previous convictions who drank too much as a way to cope with childhood trauma. He said Pink, who has been on remand since the attack, had written a letter to the court "not as a way to manipulate the court" but to explain himself.

Mr Quaife added: "He has mental health issues. He previously said it was not him that night but there has been some realisation that it was him but he wanted to say this is not the true him. There has now been full acceptance of what he has done. He is deeply ashamed and remorseful. There has been a journey for him to realise that it was him that night. There is remorse but as to what motivated him it's not clear.

"This is someone who has been misusing substances against early life trauma. He has been on remand for more than five months and he has engaged with everything that has been offered to him. He has taken responsibility for himself. There has been that realisation that he has to make that decision himself and get on with it."

His Honour Judge Simon Carr said Pink's depressive state was not relevant to what he did but being drunk was. He told Pink: "You took against your own mother. Your reaction was terrifying. You went into her house and beat her repeatedly while she slept. That was sustained and caused multiple injuries to her body.

"She would have woken up terrified being beaten by her own son. I accept the challenges you have been dealing with. There is remorse but greater remorse would have been seen by a much earlier guilty plea." Judge Carr said there were many aggravating factors in this case, including alcohol, the domestic setting as well as the seriousness of the injuries inflicted.

Pink was sentenced to four and a half years in prison and will serve two thirds before he is eligible for parole.

May

Jeffrey Fogerty

Jeffrey Fogerty was sentenced to two years in prison for the burglary of a vulnerable man's house
-Credit:PA

An elderly man with Parkinson's was robbed of money by a man he was helping get his life back on track. Jeffrey Fogerty had befriended his victim who was so kind to him that he even let him share his house.

A sentencing hearing on May 3 was told that Fogerty, 34, who previously pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to burglary and possession of Class A drug, befriended his victim about three years ago at a time when he cleaned his windows. He was asked to do odd jobs for him around the house and garden.

His vulnerable victim even allowed him to live in his house for five months as a way to give him a helping hand to get his life back on track. However when his victim's daughter, who has power of attorney over her dad's affairs, started noticing money disappearing inexplicably from her father's account, Fogerty was asked to leave and the locks were changed.

In June 2023, Fogerty contacted his victim again through Facebook. In November he was asked by his victim where the £1,000 he had taken from him was and if he could return it soon. Despite promises that the money would be repaid to his victim, that didn't materialise.

On December 4 last year Fogerty, from Mount Wise, Newquay, turned up at his victim's property in Truro and was invited in to talk things through. He told his victim he had his life back on track and would start repaying what he had taken from him soon. The court heard that it was then that he unlocked the back door and returned in the early hours the next morning and let himself in.

The court heard that his victim was woken up to find Fogerty in his bedroom going through his property looking for a black personal bag he knew his victim used for his money and bank cards. The bag had been left in another room so Fogerty moved around the house, found the bag and left.

The court was told that his victim tried to contact his bank to block his cards from being used and also called his daughter. Fogerty managed to withdraw £250 and tried to make three other cash withdrawals at cash points in Newquay for £750 but the card block kicked in before more money could be taken out. The bank also later refunded the £250 to Fogerty's victim.

The offender returned the black bag to his victim and was confronted by his son-in-law and was later arrested by police on suspicion of burglary. A small amount of cocaine was discovered on his person and he was then charged for possession of the Class A drug too.

In a personal victim impact statement read out in court, Fogerty's victim, who suffered from a heart attack two years ago, said he had until then been a deep sleeper but the burglary had affected his sleep and caused him lot of anxiety and stress. He added: "I have lived at this address for five years with no issue but I no longer feel safe. I'm paranoid about the windows and doors being locked. I feel worried at night. I used to be a heavy sleeper but now I feel like I'm always alert and I can't relax. I now have difficulties eating and drinking.

He added: "I wanted to help him get his life back on track. I feel saddened by what happened. He has made me untrusting of others."

The court heard that Fogerty has 10 previous convictions for 28 offences including burglary, robbery and assault and that this latest offence was aggravated by the domestic setting and his victim being vulnerable.

In his defence, Fogerty's barrister said that while being dealt by magistrates court for other matters he had expressed the view that he wanted to go to prison so he could sort his life out. His barrister said: "His partner left him. He was homeless for a while and started drinking heavily. It is in that context that the burglary happened. It was a mean offence and he is remorseful and apologises."

His Honour Judge Simon Carr said this had been a burglary of a domestic property where a vulnerable man was asleep at the time. He said: "Your victim has befriended you and allowed you to stay at his property. You abused his hospitality and were banned from the house when money started going missing.

"This man let you in to see how you were doing but you unlocked the back door for a planned burglary and you returned in the early hours. He would have been terrified to find you in his bedroom.

"You stole from him. You have a poor record for violence and dishonesty. This was an unpleasant offence targeting a vulnerable person." Judge Carr sentenced Fogerty to two years in prison. Here's our story published at the time.

Matthew James Bennie

Matthew James Bennie, 39, from the Redruth area, appeared before Truro Crown Court on Friday May 10, 2024 having been found guilty during a trial in March 2024 of two counts of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activities with him
-Credit:Chelsea Powell/Facebook

A pervert who likes to dress up in women's clothes and "push the boundaries in the bedroom" pushed them "too far" when he incited a young girl to perform sexual acts with him. Matthew James Bennie, 39, from North Country near Redruth area, appeared before Truro Crown Court today (Friday, May 10) having been found guilty during a trial in March of two counts of inciting a young girl to engage in sexual activity with him.

The court heard how Bennie had become quite adventurous in his sex life with his partners and enjoyed dressing up in women's clothes. On the date of the offences, Bennie asked the girl if she would like to have oral sex with him. He also asked her to hold a sex toy.

The court was told that while no actual sexual act happened between Bennie and the girl, the incident had a profound effect on his victim and it was so severe it could only be dealt with through a custodial sentence.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the mother of Bennie's victim said her daughter had loved to draw but since the incident her drawings had taken on a dark side and she was always angry. The mother said her daughter had lost a lot of weight and had become poorly too as a result of the abuse and mental and emotional trauma she had suffered while it had dramatically diminished the girl's ability to trust people, especially men.

Rupert Taylor, defending, told the court that Bennie was a supportive family man and a well regarded hard working man and said no actual sexual act had taken place with the girl. Sentencing Bennie to four years in prison, recorder Timothy Kenefick said: "You developed an interest in internet pornography and pushed the boundaries in the bedroom but you pushed those boundaries too far without realising what you were doing."

Recorder Kenefick said a sexual harm prevention order will also be in place for 10 years. Bennie will also have to be on the Sex Offenders Register and is banned from ever working with children. Here's our story published at the time.

Jamie Tonkin

A man who tricked a vulnerable male teenager into performing sex acts on him has been recalled to prison after breaching a court order stopping him from using certain apps on his phone which he said he deleted so he could play Football Manager. In November 2020, Jamie Tonkin, 26, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to three charges of causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity.

Tonkin, of High Street in Falmouth, had been out on parole for 13 months and was said to have been engaging well with his probation officers when he was found to have installed and uninstalled certain apps on his smartphone. These included social media apps such as Telegram and Instagram, and he had been using the forum website Reddit under a different name to his own.

In April this year he pleaded guilty to three beaches of the sexual harm prevention order imposed on him back in 2020 and was recalled to prison to complete his five-year jail term.

When he appeared before Truro Crown Court via video link for sentencing on Friday (May 10), Hollie Gilbery, prosecuting, said the offences had come about when his probation officer had noticed some discrepancy in his browser's history and his smartphone was examined by police. She said the installation and uninstallation of certain apps and social media had deleted the history which Tonkin was prevented from doing by the order.

She also told the court that Tonkin was also banned from using pseudonyms online which he had done when using Reddit. Christopher Spencer, defending, said Tonkin had admitted the breaches at the earliest opportunity but had not quite realised what the terms of the sexual harm prevention order entailed.

He added: "He used to play Football Manager on his phone when he was on his way to meet with his probation supervisors. The game required a certain capacity on his phone which is why he was installing and uninstalling applications.

"The motivation being that is that his phone had limited storage capacity and he was just playing on that game and was deleting apps to make space for it. He was not doing anything he was not supposed to do on these apps. He didn't fully understand the implications of the order made against him."

His Honour Judge Robert Linford sentenced Tonkin to 12 months in prison. Here's our story published at the time.

Kirsty Mankee

Kirsty Mankee from Illogan has been jailed for more than 25 thefts and assaults in the past 15 months
Tia Taylor, 22, of Bodmin, has been sentenced for her involvement in the murder of Michael Riddiough-Allen

Shopkeepers across a huge swathe of Cornwall will have some respite from a "career thief" after she was banged up for a year. Kirsty Mankee, 28, formerly of Oxland Road, Illogan, now in the care of HMP Eastwood Park, has been jailed for more than two dozens shoplifting sprees in Truro, Falmouth, Redruth, Camborne and St Austell to fund her class A drug addiction over the past 15 months.

Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said Mankee, who appeared before Truro Crown Court for sentencing today (Friday, May 17), had stolen anything from alcohol to a hot tub, chocolate to meat from supermarkets, sometimes on several occasions on the same days to fund her addictions. She told the court that Mankee even stole the purse from a woman who had tried to help her and went on a spending spree with her bank card.

On one occasion in September last year, Mankee went into a homeware store in Falmouth, filled her trolley with £800 worth of goods and simply walked out. A month later she removed the security tags from £167 worth of meat items from Aldi and put them in her bag.

A similar modus operandi was used in December last year when she stole £127 worth of alcohol from the Tesco store in St Austell and again in January this year when she targeted another Tesco store this time in Redruth and stole £124 worth of booze. The court heard that Mankee returned to the same shop later that day having changed her clothes and again filled her bags with alcohol worth £167 and walked out.

In April this year, Mankee, who already has eight convictions for 16 offences, went into a Burger King fast food restaurant and became disruptive with customers. When she was asked to leave by a member of staff she became verbally aggressive towards her and ended up punching her in the face.

When she was arrested she spat in the police officer's face, something she has also done on other occasions when police were called by staff in the shops where CCTV helped to identify her as she stole various items. Ms Bastock said that in April, Mankee stole £135 of items from the newly open Mountain Warehouse store in Boscawen Street in Truro while on two other occasions last months she continued her stealing sprees and shoplifted alcohol and various other items from a range of stores such as Co-op, a convenience store in Camborne and B&M.

Earlier this month Mankee went on another stealing trip, taking a £525 hot tub from B&Q which she bagged by leaving through the staff exit, followed by more alcohol and nappies and various bits and pieces from Poundland and Morrisons.

She was arrested and was remanded in custody until today following one last theft from a pet shop. In her police interview she said she didn't have any money and was only stealing to make ends meet.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman who had her purse and bank cards stolen from her by Mankee, said: "I feel angry by what happened that she brazenly attempted to steal from me. This incident has made me paranoid and leaving anything in case. I'm worried about my personal belongings including my pets. I feel disappointed."

The Burger King staff member who was assaulted by Mankee also had her own victim impact statement read out in court. It read: "This has caused great anxiety. I'm worried about going back to work in case she (Mankee) attends the Burger King again."

Ryan Murray, defending, said that Mankee had suffered greatly in her life when her baby daughter drowned in the bath, but he also admitted that considering the number of offences Mankee faces, "she has run out of Tarmac". Read about how her mother was prosecuted and sentenced over the baby's death here.

He added: "Her destiny is sealed. You (Judge Linford) gave her a chance and she appreciates that. Her offences have to be seen as either she is extremely stupid and thrown this chance back into your face or she is someone who has an addiction and is troubled.

"Her addiction to drugs and alcohol has gone onto a rampant extent so she shoplifts for subsistence and to fund her class A drugs addiction. There is nothing sophisticated about it. It is to indulge her habit and to survive."

He added: "She has had a lot of suffering in her life. She lost a child. She had another child with her partner and was in a care placement with social services' help and things were progressively improving. When her partner was remanded in custody she went by the wayside and you can see the cliff edge she has fallen off."

Mr Murray said Mankee had now lost her partner, her home and is left with nothing. Judge Robert Linford said Mankee, whom he described as a "career thief", had suffered some tragedy in her life but there were so many times that excuse could be used in court.

Sentencing Mankee to one year in prison he said: "You get nasty when you are apprehended and have assaulted shop keepers and spat at police officers and stole the purse of someone who was trying to help you. It's time for the shop keepers to have some respite from your thieving behaviour." Here's our story published at the time.

Petrit Zefi

Petrit Zefi, from Bugle has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for attempting to murder his wife Natalie on November 11, 2023 in Newquay
Aaron Roberts has been jailed for eight years for rape and four other sexual offences against a teenage girl -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

An alcoholic, domineering and jealous man who tried to stab his wife to death in front of their young daughter has been locked up for years. Petrit Zefi, 44, from Station Road, Bugle, near St Austell, was found guilty of one charge of attempted murder during a two-day trial last week.

Appearing before Truro Crown Court for sentencing today (Friday, May 17), Judge Robert Linford told the Albanian national there was no doubt that had it not been for the intervention of his own daughter and her friend he would killed his wife Natalie during the attack on November 11 last year.

During the trial it was heard that Zefi, who first entered the UK illegally in 2000 on the back of a lorry from France before moving to the Birmingham area, was such a controlling man that he forbade Natalie, the mother of their four children, to have her own phone or go anywhere on her own. He would even have to be in the car with her on the school runs when the children were younger.

Zefi also controlled any money she received from state benefits and a small furniture refurbishment business they ran together. The court was told that on November 11 last year, while staying at family friend Katie Cook's house in Newquay, Zefi closed the door of the room where Katie and his daughter Hanna were in, before making his way to the bedroom where Natalie and their younger daughter Lola were.

Zefi came into the room, closed the door behind him having picked up a very sharp knife from the kitchen before that, then lunged at his wife as she sat on the bed with their six-year-old girl. He stabbed his wife once on the top of the head which caused the knife's tip to snap and become imbedded in her skull then stabbed her again on top of the head. Natalie then put her arm up in self defence and Zefi stabbed her in the left wrist.

As Natalie screamed, her daughter Hanna came in and with Katie and they tried to pull Zefi off his wife and disarm him. Zefi dropped the knife and fled the property shouting 'she's cheating on me' and was later arrested by police outside a nearby pub.

Judge Linford told Zefi that he was in no doubt that Natalie owed her life to the gallant and brave intervention of their daughter Hanna and that of Katie who managed to disarm him.

Ramsay Quaife, defending, said there some elements of mitigation in Zefi's favour in that it had not been a premeditated attack but a spontaneous act and that he suffered from a mental disorder and learning disabilities. Mr Quaife said Zefi had written to Judge Linford to express his remorse.

He added: "He had a difficult and deprived upbringing in Albania. He lost both his parents. He served in the army in Albania and fought in Kosovo whether he liked it or not. He was financially providing for his family. This was not a premeditated attack."

Sentencing Zefi to 15 years in prison, including two thirds before he will be eligible for parole, Judge Linford said: "You had saturated yourself with alcohol, again. And to your own admission had taken cocaine. What happened was a spontaneous. Your daughter saw you go past her room and go into the kitchen twice. You selected a knife and took it to the room where your wife was.

"When you picked up the knife you knew what you were going to do. You launched this murderous attack on your wife and stabbed her twice in the head and the tip of the blade broke off and got stuck into her skull where it still is today.

"Your daughter and her friend came into the room. In an act of astonishing gallantry and bravery they subdued you and disarmed you. If they hadn't there is no doubt you would have killed your wife. You fled and were arrested by the police later.

"This incident happened in a domestic context, while you were under the influence of alcohol and drugs while a small child was present. You were convinced, irrationally, that your wife was having an affair when she was not. You made some threats against her before. You recognise in your letter where you have gone wrong and expressed a desire to change. But this was a very serious offence." Here's our story published at the time.

Nathan Abbot

Nathan Abbot from Hayle has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for intentional strangulation on his ex partner
Danielle Allen appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing this morning -Credit:Cornwall Live

A man with a history of domestic violence strangled his ex partner during a heated argument when his mum got involved, a court heard. Nathan Abbot, 32, had been due to stand trial at Truro Crown Court today (Monday May 20) in connection with an incident at his mum's house.

On day one of what was scheduled to be a three-day hearing, he pleaded guilty to one charge of intentional strangulation of his former partner, the mother of his two children. At a previous hearing at magistrates' court he also pleaded guilty to a breach of a five-year restraining order preventing him from being in contact with her following a previous assault on her in December 2022.

Katie Churcher, prosecuting, told the court that on this occasion, last November, Abbot's ex partner had stayed at his mum's house in Hayle - both having agreed to it despite the restraining order in place - as she needed more help and support with the children.

It was heard that she asked him to take their daughter to school as she needed to take their son to Penzance for an eye appointment. He became frustrated and started banging cupboard doors loudly in the kitchen and even kicked the bin in anger. As his ex partner decided to leave the property, Abbot's mother grabbed her by the arm.

An argument followed between the two which is when Abbot, from Harvey's Way in Hayle, grabbed his ex by the throat for what she said felt like 30 seconds and put her in a headlock. Ms Churcher told the court that Abbot's victim tried to fight him off. He eventually let go and she managed to leave the property. Police were called and Abbot was arrested and remanded in custody for being in breach of his restraining order even though it was his mother's home and the two parties had agreed to meet up there.

The court was told that Abbot has three previous convictions for six offences including assaulting his ex partner and throwing a glass at his own grandfather and grabbing another ex partner by the throat and putting his hand over her mouth.

Althea Brooks, defending, said the incident had happened while Abbot was under an immense amount of stress due in part to a recent bereavement after losing a newborn baby daughter with a different partner a few days prior to the November incident. Ms Brooks told the court that there had been four adults and two children at the house at the time and tension was running high while he suffers from autism and has difficulties dealing with crowded spaces and noisy situations.

"He was trying to assist but the tension was increased and prolonged which explains but does not excuse what happened," Ms Brooks said. "There was extreme pressure in a stressful house."

She also said that Abbot was trying to keep contact with his son from another relationship as there were fears that the boy could be taken into foster care, which Ms Brooks said was adding to the tension and stress. She told the court that Abbot has been a model prisoner while on remand, getting involved with all responsibility jobs on offer.

Recorder Christopher Quinlan, KC, said the incident in November had been aggravated by the fact it had occurred in a domestic setting, with children present, and Abbot had a history of similar violence and had breached a restraining order.

Sentencing Abbot to 27 months in prison (the six months he has spent on remand will count towards it), Recorder Quinlan said: "There was an argument between you and your ex partner. Your mother was involved. You took exception to what your ex partner said to your mum and your argument became violent and you squeezed her neck and had her in a headlock for 30 seconds.

"She tried to fight you off and you resisted her attempt. Strangulation creates a real fear of death. You have a history of violence towards previous partners. Children were present and I find that the strangulation was sustained on this occasion.

"I take in consideration your personal difficulties. In December your ex partner wrote a letter on your behalf in which she didn't see herself as a victim but she was. She was not the first victim at your hands." Here is our story published at the time.

Michael Eric Edmonds

Kai Pink, from Newquay, beat up his mum with a wooden sword while she slept during an attack at her home in November 2023 - he's been sentenced to 4 and half yeas in prison -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police
Kai Pink, from Newquay, beat up his mum with a wooden sword while she slept during an attack at her home in November 2023 - he's been sentenced to 4 and half yeas in prison -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A man who terrified his ex-girlfriend and made her feel like she was in prison will get a flavour of what that feels like as he's put behind bars. Michael Eric Edmonds, 30, made his victim's life hell over several months as he showed up at her home, threatened her and even tried to grab her from her car.

Edmonds, of no fixed abode, but formerly of Moliniss Road in Bugle, appeared at Truro Crown Court today (Thursday, May 23) for sentence having pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a restraining order and one of affray. The court heard how, over several months and despite being ordered to stay away from his victim, Edmonds made his frightened victim's "life stop".

Prosecuting the case, Ryan Murray said that on one occasion the victim was trying to return some of Edmonds' things to his mother's house in Bodmin when he climbed into her car, then on top of it and resisted her attempts to remove him. As she tried to drive away slowly he used his clothes to block her view out of the windscreen.

Mr Murray that said as things progressed Edmonds reached into the car and "grabbed her with his hands" before trying to pull her out of the vehicle. He ignored her pleas for him to leave her alone and shouted abuse at members of the public trying to help.

After the incident, he was arrested and in a police statement denied going to her property and that the incident had even taken place. A passerby managed to record some of it happening. He had previously showed up at his victim's home in the night, kicking at the door and trying to climb through her window.

The court heard how the defendant continued to contact his victim after these incidents despite being on police bail and despite a restraining order being in place preventing him from contacting her. The victim said she would mostly ignore him although occasionally would answer the phone. She said he would be "erratic" and "shout down the phone" demanding to meet with him or he would "slit his own throat".

She received some 334 calls from him over a three-and-a-half month period including 100 calls in a single day. The victim answered some of those calls because he was threatening to harm himself.

In a victim impact statement, she said: "In relation to all of the incidents that have happened involving Michael it's made me feel like I've been in prison for the last three years." She said his behaviour made her not want to leave her flat or use her car, saying "it has affected my life extremely".

She's been taking antidepressants and has had counselling to cope with the events since. "My whole life has stopped because of what he's done to me," she added. "It's not just the abuse I have to get over but all of the horrible traumatic things."

Representing Edmonds, Ramsay Quaife said the defendant had never come before the courts until he was aged 26 and he is now 30 years of age. He said: "Your honour is dealing with a man today who is not the man of those days."

Having spent six months in custody, he said of Edmonds: "He acknowledges there are problems with alcohol and substance abuse and while in custody he has had the benefits of working with We Are With You."

The defendant was also described as "motivated" and "constantly polite and engaged" during his time in custody. Edmonds had also written the judge a letter saying he was not the same person as the man who committed the offences.

Sentencing Edmonds, Recorder Richard Paige said: "This was a course of conduct directed towards [the victim], including violent breaches of a restraining order, having already committed a number of offences against her.

"It is a course of conduct that lasted over three months which, in my judgement, is clearly a persistent and serious breach." In his sentencing remarks, he said: "I do not consider the remorse expressed in your letter to be genuine."

Following some credit for his guilty pleas, Edmonds was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment. He will serve half of that and then be released on licence. Here is our story published at the time.

Ross Vicars

Ross Vicars has been sent to prison - again
Jeffrey Fogerty was sentenced to two years in prison for the burglary of a vulnerable man's house -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A career criminal with more than 60 convictions for more than twice as many offences has been locked up yet again. Ross Vicars, 32, of no fixed abode, appeared before Truro Crown Court for sentencing today (Friday, May 24) via video link from prison in connection with one count of breaching a criminal behaviour order, another of using threatening behaviour towards another person and a third charge of assaulting a police officer.

The court heard how Vicars, who has committed more than 139 offences with 63 convictions over the years, received a criminal behaviour order in October 2020 but on August 31 last year, while visiting Poundland in Truro, an incident took place involving a member of staff at the store n Boscawen Street after he was asked to leave as he was banned from entering it.

Ramsay Quaife, prosecuting, said Vicars was walking towards Victoria Square after leaving Poundland and was followed at a distance by the member of staff while police were on their way.

Vicars started shouting abuse at the member of staff and made threats that when he got out of prison he'd stab him and come to his house and burn it down.

Police officers turned up and as he was being put into the back of a police car he spat at the arresting officer. As a result Vicars was then moved to a police van but when inside while en-route to the custody suite in Newquay, kicked the police officer present with him.

In his defence it was heard that Vicars is an "experienced defendant who knows when the writing is on the wall and knows when his antecedent goes before him".

His barrister said: "He committed his first offence at 17, was in prison for the first time at 21 was made the subject of his first criminal behaviour order in 2017. Since then he has been convicted for various offences on four occasions. He has been in and out of prison since this offence in August last year.

Recorder Christopher Quinlan, KC, sentencing Vicars to 12 months in prison in connection with the latest charges, said: "You have a formidable record. You commit offences of this kind all the time." Here is our story published at the time.

June

Lewis Ford

Lewis Ford from Bodmin has been sentenced to four years in prison for GBH and possession of a knife in connection with an incident in Bodmin in July 2020
Matthew James Bennie, 39, from the Redruth area, appeared before Truro Crown Court on Friday May 10, 2024 having been found guilty during a trial in March 2024 of two counts of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activities with him -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

The victim of a knife crime needed a new belly button after being stabbed in the stomach. Lewis Ford armed himself with a knife for his own protection from drugs gangs before getting into a fight with the man he stabbed several times.

Appearing before Truro Crown Court on June 7 for sentencing, Ford, 24, from Wallace Road in Bodmin, faced charges of wounding with intent (GBH) and possession of a knife in connection with the stabbing of a man outside the White Hart Inn in the town on July 17, 2020.

The court heard how that evening, Ford, who was described as "functioning below his chronological age" and having learning difficulties, armed himself with a knife as a way to protect himself after being preyed upon by county line drug dealers. He became involved in a verbal altercation with the victim who was also out with friends. The verbal argument heated up until Ford pulled his knife out and stabbed him multiple time across the stomach and shoulder before fleeing the scene.

The court heard how Ford was arrested at his home address by Devon and Cornwall Police in the early hours of the next morning. In police interviews Ford first said he had been with a friend at the time of the stabbing. He later pleaded guilty to the two counts against him.

A victim impact statement read out in court said the injuries he had sustained had a dramatic impact on his physical and mental health and have also greatly impacted his ability to work, leaving him less able to lift heavy objects as he used to or with ongoing pain across his stomach and shoulder.

The victim said he was off work for three months following the attack and has had to receive counselling on a regular basis over the past four years. In his statement, he said the had lost 2st in weight since the attack and had found it difficult to put on healthy weight again having lost so much core strength.

He said the attack had left him feeling anxious and angry when he had been such a mild-manner and calm person until then. He said he no longer goes out with friends and prefers to go shopping at out-of-town supermarkets rather than go into Bodmin town centre for fear of what could happen to him.

He added: "For the last years I have struggled with depression. I have to go and see a counsellor. I have good and bad days but it still plays on my mind. I suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as a result. I have nightmares and wake up in a panic. I'm very anxious in medical situations and I have panic attacks. Every time I hear about stabbings it makes me anxious and depressed. It has been difficult as I am self-employed."

The court also heard from the medical report listing his injuries which said that he received six stiches on his shoulder and a 25cm long deep cut to his stomach. A medical report also read out in court said he needed to have a new bellybutton reconstructed during surgery as a result of his injuries.

Ryan Murray, defending, said Ford had been a 20-year-old young man of previous good character who had fallen prey to county line drug gangsters who often target people with learning disabilities. He said: "Mr Ford is a man of few words who struggles to articulate his emotions and operates significantly below his chronological age. He is sorry for what he did and for the pain and suffering he caused to another totally innocent person.

"He had aspirations to join the Royal Marines but that career plan went down the pan. He has been waiting for the last four years for the police to knock on his door.

"This was a dreadful incident. Mr Ford is a man of previous good character so it begs the question why he committed such a serious crime. He was in bed with bad people and was in over his head. He was young and impressionable and was easily influenced by people involved in county lines operations who prey on people like him.

"This is no excuse but an explanation why he had a knife with him that day. It was for protective purposes."

His Honour Judge Simon Carr said this was a "deeply saddening case" highlighting once again the dangers of knife crime. Sentencing Ford to four years in prison, Judge Carr added: "You have been preyed upon by those involved in county lines who like to target vulnerable people like you. Drugs are always associated with violence and so you armed yourself with a knife to protect yourself in case anything went wrong.

"On the night in question you had been out drinking. You met the victim whom you knew by sight. You had an argument and took out your knife and stabbed him multiple times. The most serious injury you caused was a deep wound to the stomach. This court deals with murder trials where stab wounds are involved. Why this was not the case on this occasion is down to luck."

Judge Carr added: "You ran off, leaving an injured man lying in the street. For reasons no-one can explain you have had to wait for four years for this matter to come to court. That's inexcusable. You have expressed genuine remorse and disbelief at what you did. The impact on your victim has been devastating physically and psychologically."

Ford will serve two thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

James Endean

James Endean was sentenced at Truro Crown Court
Jamie Tonkin at the time of his original offence in 2020

A man who attacked his former partner and threw his baby son two metres across the room has been sent to prison after committing further offences. James Endean, 24, of Truro, was originally given a chance by the court and handed two suspended sentences but has failed to change his ways.

Endean appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment - breach of a restraining order on conviction and one count of assault by beating. Prosecuting the case, Piers Norsworthy explained how Endean and his then-partner had been in an on-and-off relationship for seven years and had three children together.

Endean was described as being jealous of who his former partner contacted on social media and tried to contact her via Snapchat to try to get her back. If she said she was at work, he would come in and make threats to her.

In 2022 Endean lost his rag, attacked the mother of his children and threw his baby son two metres across the room. He had previously spent time in custody for attacking his former partner but as of last year had failed to change his ways.

At that time he pleaded guilty to criminal damage, assault and cruelty to a child. Prosecuting the case, Michael Brown described how Endean and his then partner had been in a relationship for four years and had a nine-month-old son at the time.

Mr Brown said that during a morning of rage from Endean, the partner “attempted to diffuse matters and offered to take care of her son. The defendant picked up their son and threw him two metres to her. Fortunately she was able to catch him to stop him from falling to the ground.” Read that full story here.

Now, in February of this year, Endean went to the takeaway restaurant where his former partner worked and said he wanted money from her. It was heard that he kicked over a bin and grabbed her by the throat, and when a customer walked in, she said she needed to serve them as she was the only staff member working. Endean stayed in the restaurant the whole time and when she gave him money after serving the customer, he left.

On another occasion, Endean turned up at her address when she was in the bath and pushed his phone through the letterbox of her front door. When she got out, she recognised he had posted his phone through the door, so pushed it back through.

Endean called her to say his phone was broken and called her a b***h. He then tried to climb through the bathroom window and she told him she would meet him in a park nearby. It was heard that while at the park, Endean grabbed her by the neck and had some sort of a blade on him which he tried to cut his stomach and arms with in front of her, saying she didn’t care about him.

He began shouting in her face and asking to show him her Snapchat inside her house. When she said she would do it outside, he grabbed her and said he “didn’t want to be like this” but blamed his drug addiction.

Endean’s ex-partner then tried to offer him money to find somewhere to stay but when he rejected the offer, she gave him money to get himself some food. When he returned later that evening, she said he could stay on the sofa and the police were called the next day.

In a victim impact statement, Endean’s partner described how she has left her feeling “really scared” of any noise she hears at home or at work as she thinks it’s him coming after her. She said: “He has the ability to seriously hurt me, especially when drugs are involved.

“He’s unpredictable and turns up randomly. Even when we aren’t together he tries to control me, he tells his family not to talk to me. His name-calling and making me feel worthless has affected my confidence, I don’t go out much and it’s affected me socially, I don’t have friends. We have three children together and his son is missing his father figure, they used to have a good relationship but he’s ruined that.”

In mitigation, it was heard that Endean’s previous inability to control his temper or emotions, particularly at a time when he was abusing substances, has been the cause of his offending. However, it was heard that he has shown the first signs of wanting to address those issues.

Endean was also said to have no interest in resurrecting a relationship with his former partner and that he has completed a number of courses to continue to address his temper and emotions.

Sentencing Endean, Judge Simon Carr said: “The victim of all your offending has been your former partner with whom you have three children. From what I have seen it has been an abusive relationship throughout.

“You are unable to control your anger and you use physical violence against your partner, including times when your children were in the house. Money that would have been better spent on children was spent on your drug addiction.

“When you committed the offences in 2024, you were physically and verbally abusive and you bothered her at her home and workplace in a manner she would have found frightening. I cannot ignore the circumstances of offending over a period of time.”

Endean was sentenced to a total of 15 months imprisonment.

Joby Reed

Joby Reed, from Launceston has been sentenced to 32 months in prison
Kirsty Mankee from Illogan has been jailed for more than 25 thefts and assaults in the past 15 months -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A drug dealer from Cornwall led police in a high-speed chase both ways down the M5 before flying at speed through residential neighbourhoods and ramming their car trying to escape a dead end. Joby Reed, with accomplice Alexander Stewart on board, smashed backwards into people's walls and cars as a helicopter and armed police had to be called in to arrest him after he was boxed in.

Reed had aroused suspicion as he hit speeds of up to 100mph on the M5, flashing at and tailgating other drivers, all the while high on cocaine and cannabis with his car full of drugs. A knife was also found in the Ford Focus.

Reed, 31, from Race Hill, Launceston, and his drug-dealing associate Stewart, 37, from Station Road, also in Launceston, appeared before Truro Crown Court on Friday (June 21) for sentencing in connection with a series of drug offences relating to an incident outside the Greenaways Service and MoT centre in the town's Newport Square on January 5 this year. Both also pleaded guilty to being in possession of a knife at the time.

In addition, Reed also pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to offences of dangerous driving, assaulting a police officer, possession of a knife, in connection with an unrelated matter last August and three other drug offences with regards to the possession of Class A drugs.

Ryan Murray, prosecuting, told the court that on August 13 last year, Reed's Ford Focus was reported being driven dangerously on the M5 at speeds of 100mph, while flashing his lights at others and tailgating drivers in front of him.

The court heard how a police chase ensued. Reed was followed along the M5 from Exeter to Cullompton where he exited the motorway and turned round back down the M5. A police helicopter had to be deployed during the incident.

Mr Murray said that Reed drove through a set of red lights as he left the motorway, forcing others to take evasive action. While hitting 50mph in built up areas in Exeter, Reed ended up in a cul-de-sac where, not being able to turn around, he tried to escape from the police by reversing at speed down the road.

He told the court that it was during that manoeuvre that Reed damaged property walls and parked cars and rammed the police car being used to try to box him in. Reed was eventually stopped and arrested by armed police.

While resisting arrest he bit a police officer on the arm. He tested positive for cocaine and cannabis and a knife was also found in his car along with class A and B drugs.

In an unrelated incident, police were alerted to suspicious goings-on outside the Greenaways Services and MoT centre in Launceston on January 5 this year when a Skoda car was spotted with non-matching number plates.

An unmarked police car was dispatched to the area and police officers soon pounced on the occupants - Reed in the driving seat and Stewart as his passenger - after they tried to evade arrest by ramming the police car. Both were taken out of the car and searched.

Their car was searched and quantities of cocaine, heroine and cannabis in retail wraps with a combined street value of £14,000 were found on them and in a holdall bag on the footrest of the passenger seat. Reed and Stewart were also found to have a knife on their persons while some digital weighing scales were also found on Reed. The pair were charged with possession and intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs, and being in possession of a knife.

Mr Murray said Reed has four convictions for similar drug offences and received an 18-month suspended prison sentence in 2013 as a 20-year-old for the production of and intent to supply cannabis. Stewart has 11 previous convictions for 19 offences mostly relating to driving matters, breaches of court orders, low level violence and drugs as well as for being in possession of a razor.

Victoria Bastock, defending Reed, said he had made progress while on remand in prison in kicking his drug addiction. She said he had expressed his "utter disgust at his behaviour" with regards to the dangerous driving incident and also expressed genuine remorse for his actions.

She added: "He is hard working in nature. He's had a difficult childhood. He has started putting in work in prison and started an education and has taken part in a drugs awareness course. He used to play a significant role in the care of his disabled father so being in prison has had an impact on his family."

Emily Cook, defending Stewart, said he had got back into using Class A drugs following the suicide of his brother in January last year when they had been very close. She said it had been a way to cope with a broken relationship and a break down in his mental health.

Ms Cook said he had been receiving counselling while on remand in prison "to start on an even keel". She told the court: "He said that being in prison has given his head a wobble and he realises that he needs to stop offending and think and reflect on what he wants his life to be. He has plans to work with We Are With You to deal with his addiction and to reconnect with the mental health services and to undertake course and find work to repay his debt to society."

Recorder Richard Mawhinney told Reed that had it not been for the dangerous driving offences, he would have suspended his sentence for the drug offences but combined, the two sets of offences made it inevitable that a custodial sentence would be passed. He also told him that the various letters of support from his father and sisters had shown another, more positive, side to his character.

He said Stewart had shown genuine remorse for his actions but the possession of a knife had been an aggravating factor.

Stewart was sentenced to a total of 24 months in jail suspended for 18 months as well as 26 days of rehabilitation activity days and a four-month curfew to reside at an address. Reed was jailed for a total of 32 months including 24 for the drug offences and eight months for the dangerous driving and assault on an police officer. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and 10 months.

Marcus Harbison

Marcus Harbison, 60, from Penzance has been jailed for 30 months for mounting a sinister stalking campaign against his ex partner
Petrit Zefi, from Bugle has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for attempting to murder his wife Natalie on November 11, 2023 in Newquay -Credit:Devon and Cornwall Police

A jealous and paranoid man who bombarded his ex with increasingly sinister and disturbing messages during a relentless stalking campaign has been put behind bars. Marcus Harbison subjected his ex-partner to such an onslaught of emotional abuse and increasingly nasty threats that she felt physically sick and on edge every time she went to work.

Harbison's stalking campaign became so bad he told his victim that he'd kill himself and it would be her fault, threatened to put a brick through her window and even put a bomb in her car. The 60-year-old appeared before Truro Crown Court on Thursday (June 27) for sentencing on five counts of intentional strangulation, two assaults by beating, threatening to share photograph or film of a person in an intimate state as well as stalking involving the fear of violence.

The court heard that Harbison, from Treneere Road in Penzance, met his victim at the Land's End Hotel where they both worked and started a relationship.

Ramsay Quaife, prosecuting, told the court how the pair had become engaged several months into their relationship but it came to a grinding halt at a staff party at the hotel when he became drunk and abusive. That night Harbison tried to prevent her from leaving the party by grabbing her car keys and throwing them in a hedge.

She decided to go home and Harbison followed her while a colleague looked for her car keys. When Harbison found the colleague in his ex's home as he returned her keys, he became physically abusive towards both of them. After that incident, despite being told the relationship was over, he subjected her to a "bombardment " of text messages and calls on a daily basis.

Mr Quaife said Harbison, who lost his job at the hotel as a result of his behaviour, would park his car outside his ex's house and when she lost her job and had to move back in with the father of her children, Harbison would park outside his house. He continued to stalk her once she found a new job and a new place of her own.

Harbison would send her unsolicited flowers at her place of work, would wait for her in the lobby, would follow her home demanding that he spend the night with her. Mr Quaife told the court that when she turned him down, he finally snapped and grabbed her by the throat and became more and more threatening.

"He would follow her to see who she was with and if she was seeing someone else," Mr Quaife said. "He would follow her secretly and even threatened to release photographs of her sleeping and put a bomb in her car and throw a brick at her window. On one occasion she had 26 missed calls from him in two hours.

"When he was arrested and interviewed by police he said he couldn't remember but believed he was still in a relationship and believed she was having an affair with someone else."

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Harbison's ex said his behaviour had made her feel vulnerable and scared and she felt "constantly on edge". She said: "It made me feel like I was constantly being watched. One day I saw someone who looked like him and it made me feel sick. This has taken a toll on my mental health. I have anxiety. Stress is affecting my sleep. I was constantly looking over my shoulder. I didn't feel safe in my own home."

Harbison's barrister said this was a man whose life had taken a dark turn when his wife of 40 years died and he took to drinking again as a way to cope with grief. His solicitor said: "His behaviour towards his ex-partner was unacceptable. He is deeply ashamed about the abuse he inflicted and apologises unreservedly.

"He has not come to terms with the loss of his wife of 40 years. She was a teetotaller and when he was with her, he was sober and he was not offending. He led a law-abiding life. He thought his new partner would offer him the emotional support he needed but he started drinking and felt compelled to fall in with her social circle and the drinking that came with it.

"He convinced himself that she was having an affair behind his back and became suspicious of her colleagues. He threw her altruism back in her face. He has vowed to abstain from drink in the future and he now accepts that the relationship is truly over."

The court was told that Harbison has 21 convictions for 77 offences. Sentencing Harbison to 30 months in prison, His Honour Judge James Adkin said his campaign of stalking over several months between December last year and March this year, was "sinister and disturbing".

He said: "You threatened to kill yourself saying it would be her fault. You threatened to throw a brick through her window and to put a bomb in her car. What amounted to a campaign of stalking has put a severe emotional toll on her and has had an impact on her life. There has been some recognition of the problem you have but this was very serious."

As well as a prison sentence, a restraining order was also imposed on Harbison preventing him from making contact with his victim.

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