Hampton Magna man avoids jail after having change of heart over using knife in fight

A Hampton Magna man who took a knife to a fight following a threat to his grandchildren, but later thought better of it, has avoided jail.

Friday, 16th February 2018, 1:38 pm
Updated Friday, 16th February 2018, 3:53 pm
The case was heard at Warwickshire Magistrates Court

Jason Clowsley, 49, of Slade Hill, had pleaded guilty to possessing a bladed article at a previous hearing held at Warwickshire Magistrates Court on Wednesday February 14, but no sentence was given due to insufficient court time.

At a subsequent hearing held on Friday February 16, also at Warwickshire Magistrates Court, Clowsley was given a 20 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was also order to perform 80 hours of unpaid work, fulfil a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement, pay £185 in costs and pay a victim surcharge of £115.

The court heard that on the night of Thursday November 16, 2017, Clowsley was drinking at a Hampton Magna pub.

He received a message from Robert Middleton, of Field Barn Road, threatening his two grandchildren.

Mr Middleton had taken exception to the purchase of a caravan in the local village by Clowsley around two years ago. After this, he posted several disparaging comments on social media about Clowsley, causing a rift between the men.

When he received the message, rather than phoning police, Clowsley decided to take the law into his own hands and headed to Mr Middleton's address to confront him, taking a knife along.

But on arrival, he left the knife outside. He then got into a fight with Mr Middleton, who hit Clowsley over the head with a saucepan during the confrontation. Clowsley then left.

The knife was later recovered by police.

Mr Baldev Atwal, prosecuting, said: "He accepts that he took a knife to a fight, but thought better of it and left it outside the address. That knife was received from the garden area.

"It was clear that both men had been some sort of physical altercation."

Mr Atwal also explained Clowsley had a previous conviction for a similar offence dating back to 1990.

Mr Mike Jervis, defending, said Mr Middleton's actions were a form of 'intense provocation', and that 'any decent grandfather' would not have taken it.

He added: "The bad feeling between the complainant and Mr Clowsley was started by the complainant.

"He received a message from the complainant making threats to hurt his grandchildren. This had been going on for two years. He was fed up with it.

"Because he'd had a drink, he thought I'm going to sort this out once and for all. Foolishly, he took this knife with him.

"By the time he got to the complainant's property, he realised what an idiot he'd been. He had regretted taking the knife."

Mrs Carol Thorne JP then told Clowsley: "We've considered there was intense provocation, but we're also very aware you have a previous similar offence. This, however, was 28 years ago.

"It's a serious offence - knife crime is prevalent. But we are not going to be sending you to prison today."