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Man jailed for Salerie Corner incident

Man jailed for Salerie Corner incident

Monday 08 June 2020

Man jailed for Salerie Corner incident

The corona virus lockdown helped create a "perfect storm" for one man, which led him to breakdown in a "fairly spectacular way" including aiming racial abuse at three other men, which was caught on camera and shared on social media.

37-year-old Sean Allen appeared for sentencing by the Magistrate's Court via video link because of social distancing guidelines, after previously being remanded in custody.

He had been arrested on 18 April after an incident at Salerie Corner which led to him being charged with using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour, along with disorderly behaviour at St George's Esplanade.

After being taken into custody by Guernsey Police he was also charged with assaulting a police officer after he tried to bite one.

He was also charged with two counts of criminal damage at the police station after twice urinating against a cell door.

Allen pleaded guilty to all of the charges and his defence lawyer said the events were the culmination of years of mental health problems he had suffered which all came to a head during the lockdown.

police station

Pictured: Guernsey Police Station. 

Advocate Liam Roffey outlined to the Magistrate's Court how Allen had "been on a mental health precipice" before the lockdown was imposed. 

He had "a lengthy and extensive engagement with mental health services", and had needed treatment in January and February of this year as his condition worsened. 

Allen had not drunk any alcohol "for many years" and although his previous criminal record was "poor", Advocate Roffey pointed out that he had not come to police attention for nine years before this incident.

However, before the corona virus crisis took hold of Guernsey, Allen had decided to come off his medication himself - something Advocate Roffey said his mental health support workers would not have advised. Allen had also started drinking alcohol again.

Information which was given to the Judge to read, but was not discussed in open court, would explain why Allen's mental health had deteriorated earlier this year said Advocate Roffey.


Pictured: Allen was sentenced by Guernsey's Magistrate's Court. 

With Allen showing signs of distress prior to lockdown, Advocate Roffey said it was a "perfect storm" which led to the incident which saw him arrested.

"...mental strain and pressures throughout it were felt by all of us," said Advocate Roffey, adding the impact was heightened on "someone with Mr Allen's vulnerability."

"The pressure of covid-19 doesn't excuse his actions but events of his early life have led to a distrust of people's actions towards him," said Advocate Roffey - who further explained that Allen had thought the two men he first encountered at Salerie Corner were laughing at him. They were joined by a third man - all of whom Allen referred to as "foreign" before telling them he had rights as a Guernsey man to be in the car park and that they didn't and they should "go home".

"He thought they were laughing at him," explained Advocate Roffey who also said that "he feels completely ashamed by what he said and did."


Pictured: Les Nicolles Prison.  

In sentencing Allen, Judge Graeme McKerrell acknowledged it had been a long time since he last broke the law, but "you have done so in a fairly spectacular way," he said.

The incident was racially abusive he told Allen, and he also breached distancing rules as proven by the social media and CCTV footage which was shown to the court.

"I do recognise lockdown may have been hard for you, but it's been hard for many people", Judge McKerrell said before outlining that what Allen had done was "nasty, unpleasant and racially abusive" behaviour towards complete strangers.

Referring to both the incident at Salerie Corner and what happened at the police station, Judge McKerrell told Allen: "You are not an animal and you should not behave like one."

Saying that assaults on police officers are always taken seriously, Judge McKerrell said to do this during lockdown was an aggravating factor.

"Assaults against police officers are always taken seriously. The police officers had to put social distancing aside to deal with you, putting themselves at risk. You showed a complete lack of respect."

In total Allen was given a six month prison sentence, along with a two year supervision order on his release. 

Pictured top: Salerie Corner.





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