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Two court cases involving Church Square

Two court cases involving Church Square

Saturday 20 July 2019

Two court cases involving Church Square

Two court cases were heard in one sitting involving separate assaults which took place in Church Square during daylight - one involving a female victim.

One of the incidents which formed part of a wider case led to a prison sentence for the defendant.

Judge Graeme McKerrell was urged to speak on the importance of maintaining a respectable appearance for cruise ship passengers after he presided over the two cases.

The two entirely separate incidents occurred four days apart in May and appeared before the court on Thursday involving two defendants respectably, Robert Gardner, 69 and Jason Crowther, 46. 

The sole offence for Gardner on this occasion, although the man was described as having "miserable record", took place on 18 May around noon. Gardner had walked over to a bench in the square where the victim had been sitting. 

The court heard that the disagreement started when Gardner asked for some property be returned to him. The victim allegedly pointed at Gardner's chest and made accusations about his character. Gardner then punched the man later claiming to Police it was in self defence, although this did not form part of his defence offered by his advocate Sam Maindonald. 

Church Square

Pictured: Church Square. 

Gardner was sentenced to 160 hours community service as a direct alternative to 10 months in prison, Judge McKerrell mentioned suspended sentences and stints in custody in the recent past as having been no effective deterrent to the man's offending. 

"The one thing that has not been tried [with you] is community service. I'm not holding my breath that I won't see you again," he said during sentencing. 

Crowther who was also tried on the same day, appeared from custody and was charged with four offences - three of which were a result of one act of criminal damage. The original offence involved the man causing £800 worth of damage to a woman's Town flat when he woke up intoxicated and found she was not with him as he had expected. Crowther left a note for the woman which read "f**** you you slote [sic]" after having smashed a flatscreen TV, clothes rail and picture frame.

 At around 16:00 on 14 May the court heard, that the defendant was bragging about the damage caused to his victim's flat while sitting in Church Square while the woman was present. An altercation led to the defendant pushing the victim in the face for which he was later charged with assault. 

When Police arrived Crowther resisted arrest and called the officers "c***s" loudly in view of members of the public and, it was noted, tourists. As a result Crowther was then charged with behaving in a disorderly manner. At the Police station on 18 May Crowther was also charged with making a threat to kill the woman while speaking with three officers. 

In sentencing Judge McKerrell said the man, who is unemployed, contributes "very little" to society and compared his actions to those who work to bring tourism into the island. 

"Guernsey is trying to re-build its tourism industry and cruise ships are an important part of that. At present you contribute very little to society and you undermine people who work very hard to make the island a better place. If you cannot contribute to society I have no choice but to take you out of it," he said.  

He was sentenced to seven months in prison across four individual counts of assault, behaving in a disorderly manner, criminal damage and making threats to kill - effective immediately.





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