Westerfield: Landowner who threatened dog walker with wrench is given suspended prison sentence


Westerfield - Credit: citizenside.com

A landowner who armed himself with a wrench and threatened a dog walker during a row over a public footpath has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Edward Wiseman chased after Michael Read after his wife told him Mr Read had threatened to come back with a shotgun and use it if they did not keep their dog and geese under control while he was using a footpath on their land, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Wiseman had driven along Lower Road, Westerfield, after Mr Read at around 10am on February 9 this year and after stopping his car had threatened Mr Read with the wrench which had been in a pocket in his driver’s door.

During the incident both men had gone to the ground and Mr Read had ended up on top of Mr Wiseman.

Several drivers had stopped to see what was going on and described Wiseman as being armed with a monkey wrench and being the aggressor.

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The court heard Wiseman was disarmed during the incident and before leaving the scene had asked a van driver if he could have the wrench back. The driver refused and had given the wrench to Mr Read in case he needed it as evidence, the court heard.

Wiseman, 57, of Lower Road, Westerfield, denied having an offensive weapon but was found guilty after a trial earlier this month.

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Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.

Wiseman was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was also ordered to pay costs of £2,800.

Giving evidence during the trial, Wiseman had said he had gone after Mr Read to take his picture after he threatened his family.

He claimed that Mr Read had produced the wrench and raised it as if to take a swing at him.

Asked by his barrister Richard Wood if he had used or threatened violence to Mr Read, Wiseman replied: “Absolutely not.

“I didn’t make any threats of violence. I was the person on the floor and I was the person that was attacked.”

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing Mr Wood said the offence had been out of character for his client.

He added that before going after Mr Read to take his photograph he had told his wife to phone the police.

He said that no blows had been struck with the wrench.

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