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Bookies ban for factory worker who threatened to destroy betting shop

Suffolk Magistrates' Court  Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

An angry punter has been banned from bookmakers in a Suffolk town after threatening to destroy a betting shop and kicking a police officer.

Asen Asenov flew into a rage and threatened to “smash up” a branch of Ladbrokes in Brandon, near Thetford, on Saturday, November 24.

The Bulgarian national, of no fixed address, appeared before Ipswich magistrates in custody on Tuesday, charged with threatening behaviour, threatening to destroy property, possession of cannabis and assaulting a police officer.

Speaking through an interpreter, the 31-year-old factory worker admitted all charges and apologised to the female Ladbrokes customer services manager he brought to tears, saying: “My only guilt is for shouting at a woman. Women are weaker and more vulnerable than us.”

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Asenov entered the shop at 10.10am and slammed his bank card on the counter, demanding: “I want my money, now”.

He then picked up a stool and threatened to smash up the shop, before returning to the counter and pushing a computer screen towards the employee, who pleaded for Asenov to leave until two police officers arrived and placed him under arrest.

When taken outside to be searched, he pushed and kicked one of the officers, before being taken to the ground, further arrested for assault and fitted with a spit hood.

Asenov, who was found to be carrying about £20 worth of cannabis, accepted “flicking his leg out” in protest at being searched by a female police officer.

He was sentenced to unpaid work for almost identical offences of public order, assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage exactly a week before his outburst in Ladbrokes.

Asenov told magistrates he had loaded £200 onto a betting terminal the previous day but immediately chose to ‘cash out’.

When told the money would have to be transferred back onto his card, Asenov insisted on receiving cash to continue betting on dogs and horses.

He eventually accepted the policy, but returned in a rage the following morning, after attempting to buy coffee and cigarettes with a declined card.

Asenov was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for one year, with his current community order to continue, as well as 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Along with being banned from betting shops in Brandon, he must pay £150 in compensation for threatening behaviour and a £100 fine for possession of cannabis.

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