Offender who fought outside post office is sent to jail

Saturday 17th September 2022 5:50 am
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Exterior view of the Isle of Man Courthouse in Douglas - (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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A 26-year-old man has been jailed for 14 weeks for provoking behaviour and threatening behaviour.

Billy Robert Sumner attacked a man in Strand Street and abused a staff member in Spar.

As he was jailed by High Bailiff Jayne Hughes, Sumner hit out at a door and had to be restrained by court security staff.

Earlier he had pleaded guilty to both offences.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon told the court that, on December 1 last year at 3.40pm, police received a number of 999 calls from the public to report two men fighting outside the post office in Strand Street.

When officers arrived the men had left but CCTV footage showed Sumner, who lives in Empire Terrace in Douglas, running out of JD Sports and swinging punches at a man in an unprovoked attack.

He was also said to have attempted to headbutt the man, then kicked him while he was on the ground.

Sumner was arrested on December 6 and during a police interview answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

On August 15, while Sumner was still on bail for the December offence, he was said to have entered Spar at Castlemona in Douglas and started swearing at a female member of staff.

He told her: ‘I’m going to find out where you live and I’m going to come through your door.’

The woman’s son was outside and he came in and pulled Sumner away.

The two men ended up on the ground and Sumner then left the shop.

He was arrested later and told police: ‘I didn’t assault anyone.’

During an interview he answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

Defence advocate Sara-Jayne Dodge said of the incident outside the post office that Sumner had recently been released from hospital following a head injury.

He claimed that the victim had taken some clothing from his flat and he had seen him wearing it, which had prompted the attack.

Ms Dodge said: ‘He accepts his behaviour was far from reasonable. In his own words, he knows he needs to stay calm.’

The advocate said her client had managed to stay out of trouble for nine months while on bail.

Of the August 15 incident, Sumner claimed that some people had broken into his flat wearing balaclavas and he thought that the victim may have been responsible.

Ms Dodge said that her client had long-standing issues with alcohol and drugs but had self-referred to Motiv8 and the Drug and Alcohol Team (DAT) in May and was working with them.

The advocate urged the court to follow the recommendation of a probation report, for a suspended sentencing, asking for the article eight human rights of his children to be taken into consideration and the fact that he may lose his accommodation if jailed.

The probation report assessed Sumner as a high risk of reoffending but a low risk of harm to others.

The report also said that he was not motivated to engage with community service or a probation order as he felt he was doing the necessary work himself by self-referring to Motiv8 and DAT.

The High Bailiff said that this would have carried more weight had it not been for the August offence and also pointed out that Sumner had shown a lack of co-operation with previous court orders.

No order for prosecution costs was made in light of the immediate custodial sentence.

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