Ipswich: Man who ‘spoiled’ Olympic torch relay procession forced to pay �50 fine

YOU spoiled what should have been a happy occasion.

Those were the stern words from district judge Celia Dawson as she sentenced prolific offender Paul Ely for being drunk and disorderly when the Olympic flame arrived in Ipswich last month.

The 46-year-old was arrested on July 5 after causing a scene in front of hundreds of families who had flocked to see the iconic torch come to the town’s Waterfront.

Prosecutor Tess Mann told South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday that the significance of the occasion was great.

“It was a large public event and a lot of Ipswich Waterfront was fenced off so that dancers could entertain people,” she said.

“Inspector Mason was patrolling and arrived outside DanceEast when he heard a raised voice. He turned around to see the defendant barging through the barrier and stewards, who are members of the public, were trying to stop him from coming through.”

She said Ely, of Vernon Street, Ipswich, used a raised voice and abusive language and that the Inspector told him to “stop now and walk away”.

Most Read

The court heard Ely, who had a can of super-strength lager, failed to leave and was subsequently arrested.

Ian Duckworth, representing Ely, said the officer escorted him out of the way and arrested him.

He was initially charged with threatening behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress but the charge was amended to drunk and disorderly, to which he pleaded guilty.

District judge Dawson ordered Ely to pay a fine of �50, costs of �85 and a victim surcharge of �15.

Ely’s existing suspended prison sentence was extended for an additional month.

She said: “For a lot of people you have spoiled what should have been a happy occasion and your behaviour was unacceptable and very unpleasant.”