Trimley: Jail for drunk hostel resident who terrorised shop staff

A MAN who celebrated Mother’s Day by trashing a convenience store and threatening the staff has been jailed for eight weeks.

Dock worker Amir Tihomirov, of the Seven Oaks hostel, Church Lane, Trimley St Martin, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court and admitted charges of theft, possession of an offensive weapon, threatening behaviour and criminal damage.

The incident – during which frightened staff locked themselves in an office – has today led to calls from Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and parish and district councillor Graham Harding for a fresh look to be taken at the activities of the workers and whether new conditions were needed on the hostel licence, or if it should be revoked.

The court heard that Tihomirov, 22, was “swaying around and looked drunk” and was aggressive to staff at the McColl’s store in High Road, Trimley, on March 15 at about 9pm as he tried to purchase a bottle of cider.

After being asked to leave for trying to steal a packet of nuts, he threatened staff and stole some cigarettes, and knocked over several display stands.

The court was read statements from employees that explained that Tihomirov’s “crazy” behaviour continued outside the store and he had tried to gain entry again by head-butting the locked door “five or six times”, smashing the glass in the process.

The court heard from shop staff that they had “never felt so vulnerable” and were left terrified during the 30 minute ordeal.

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When he was arrested Tihomirov confronted officers with a nine-inch piece of wood and had to be wrestled to the ground.

In a police interview, Tihomirov told officers that he couldn’t recall the incident and had been intoxicated and “celebrating Mother’s Day” – which fell three days later.

The court heard he was extremely remorseful and was unable to provide any explanation for his behaviour.

Councillor Graham Harding is to ask whether the hostel’s residents’ behaviour in public places will be a factor in the review of the centre’s operating licence when it comes up for rewewal next year.

“I think it is a question we have to ask the officers who will be carrying out the review because while the licence will deal with the running of the hostel there is also a vital issue here of the quality of life of the people living in the village,” said Mr Harding.

“These incidents we have seen are not fair on the residents of Trimley.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “I feel we need to be quite resolute in dealing with unacceptable incidents like the one at the shop, and I am pleased that swift justice has taken place.

“I think the council has got to look again at the licence conditions and also at whether or not the licence should be renewed.”

Hostel owner Larry Graham praised the magistrates in how they had dealt with Tihomirov – and said he had now been booted out of Seven Oaks and would not be returning.

He said while he could control the residents’ behaviour while they were at Seven Oaks and continually stress the need for good behaviour in the community, there was little he could do once they were off the premises.

“I am not their dad – I just provide the accommodation,” he said.

“I help in any way I can when they are here but when they leave the site they are out of my power, out of my control.

“We have had meetings with the police and council and we give the residents guidance because we want to be kind to the village and stop any possible problems from happening.”