Trio in court after rounders bat threat

A FATHER narrowly avoided a jail term after he admitted threatening someone with a rounders bat.

Naomi Cassidy

A FATHER narrowly avoided a jail term after he admitted threatening someone with a rounders bat.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Dominic Fowls, 42, played the largest part in the incident in Stowmarket last year, which also involved his stepdaughter Jacqueline Fowls, 24, and her boyfriend Paul Mason, 25.

All three pleaded guilty to affray and were sentenced by Judge John Devaux.

The court heard how the trio went to Joshua Horrex's house, in Ipswich Street, on November 11 last year, as Fowls believed he was responsible for breaking a window in his house.

They knocked on the door and when Mr Horrex did not answer, they climbed through the kitchen window.

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They found Mr Horrex in the bathroom, then barricaded the door and Fowls grabbed him by the throat while holding a bat in his other hand.

Prosecutor Ian Pells said: “Mr Fowls was waving the bat near his face and making threats that he was going to burn down his mother's house. Mr Horrex said he was very scared and thought the bat was going to be used.”

Miss Fowls stood by the door to stop anyone in the house from getting in. All three then left and Mr Horrex called the police.

Tara McCarthy, mitigating for Dominic Fowls, said: “He is deeply regretful about his actions on that day.

“Mr Horrex had been in a relationship with Mr Fowls' stepdaughter and that relationship had not ended well.

“A window in Mr Fowls' house was broken at 4am and he became frustrated by the police's reaction about it. This action was extremely out of character. He admits he should have never gone round there.”

Gregory Perrins, mitigating for Jacqueline Fowls, said: “Were she on her own that night, this offence would have never taken place. “It wasn't her idea to go round there. She was influenced primarily by her stepfather.”

Paul Strelitz, mitigating for Mason, added: “This was gravely out of character.

“At no stage did he know there was going to be any weapon used.”

Judge Devaux told the defendants: “Clearly you took the law into your own hands.”

Have you been a victim of a crime like this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

Dominic Fowls, formerly of Regent Street, Stowmarket, was given a suspended sentence for 18 months, a supervision order for six months, ordered to pay £250 in compensation to the victim, and £250 in prosecution costs.

Jacqueline Fowls, also formerly of Regent Street, was given an eight month supervision order. She had to pay £150 in compensation and £250 for prosecution costs.

Mason, who lives in Chadwell Heath, Essex, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of work in the community, pay £100 compensation to the victim, £250 in prosecution costs and £800 in defence costs.