80-year-old jailed after court outburst

A WAR veteran who pursued an 11-year vendetta against his neighbour is behind bars today after launching into a furious tirade against magistrates. Angry 80-year-old Arthur Burgess has been warned he could be given an Asbo after being convicted of harassment, assaulting a police officer and criminal damage.

A WAR veteran who pursued an 11-year vendetta against his neighbour is behind bars today after launching into a furious tirade against magistrates.

Angry 80-year-old Arthur Burgess has been warned he could be given an Asbo after being convicted of harassment, assaulting a police officer and criminal damage.

If given the order, he would become one of the oldest people in the country to face such a punishment.

Widower Burgess, of Cavendish Road, Trimley St Martin, has been remanded in custody until his sentencing next month.


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But during yesterday's hearing, before magistrates in Ipswich, Burgess was arrested after shouting at magistrates.

At the top of his voice, he said: “I think this is a damned disgrace the way you are treating me. I'm not some sort of freak.

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“I have been respected everywhere I have been. I want to be respected as an honest citizen, not be put on probation. I do my utmost.”

The former soldier, who served as a rifleman in the 8th Army in Italy during the war, added: “The people who are messing me about haven't done anything.

“Respect me and I'll respect you lot.”

He then stormed out of court, before continuing his rant on his return. This led to bench chairman Peter Page calling for assistance in taking him down to the cells, telling Burgess: “It's easy to see why you're here.”

Two police officers arrived and wrestled the pensioner to the ground, before being joined by three more colleagues in restraining him.

Burgess, who ignored a plea from his solicitor to “behave”, continued to shout as he was led out of court, warning his escorting officers he could “handle himself”.

Even after leaving the courtroom, his screams could still be heard as he grappled with police officers outside.

Two hours later, Burgess was brought back before magistrates after being given time to calm down. This time he was hand-cuffed and brought into a different court, complete with a secure glass panel and guarded by two security officers and two police constables.

He apologised to the court but said he wanted justice to be done.

Magistrates' chairman Peter Page accepted that imprisoning the pensioner seemed “ridiculous”.

But Mr Page said that, given Burgess's behaviour, the court could not be sure that probation officers would be able safely to interview the pensioner and complete pre-sentence reports if he was given bail.

As he was led away Burgess, who worked for Ipswich firm Ransomes, Sims, Jeffries for much of his working life, told the court: “Fair enough, three weeks it shall be ... But when I get out I shall have justice.”

Burgess will be sentenced on October 12.

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