They did what? 5 of Suffolk’s most bizarre court cases

PUBLISHED: 05:29 17 April 2020

A look back at some of the more bizarre court cases in Suffolk.  Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown

A look back at some of the more bizarre court cases in Suffolk. Picture:Sarah Lucy Brown


A look back at some of the most unusual and frankly weird court cases that have taken place here in Suffolk.

Every town has it’s fair share of crime, however there are some court cases heard by a Judge which are just completely bizarre.

Here we have gathered some of the weirdest cases that made their way into magistrates courts and crown courts across Suffolk.

Dog owner ordered to remove 15kg of pet’s waste from garden - after claiming it ate council’s warning letters

A dog owner was fined more than £1,700 after failing to clear 15kg of dog waste from his own garden, claiming his dog ate letters warning him of action.

Paul McConville, of Lowestoft, sparked complaints from neighbours after amassing an accumulation of dog waste.

After numerous letters were ignored by McConville – who denied receiving them – he suggested his dogs may have eaten them.

McConville did not attend a hearing into the matter at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, January 30, but was found guilty in absence of breaching an abatement notice.

He was fined a combined total of £1,700.

Man who stole 17 coats from Ipswich M&S is jailed

A serial offender who stole 17 women’s coats from Marks and Spencer in Ipswich over two weeks was jailed by magistrates in November 2019.

David Dennington, of Peterhouse Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft.

Magistrates heard how Dennington, 41, went into the Westgate Street store on November 6 and walked out with six women’s coats without paying.

He repeated the theft on November 16, again stealing six coats, before taking a further five women’s coats four days later.

Dennington was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment for each theft to run consecutively for a total of 12 weeks.

He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to Marks and Spencer.

Driver seen ‘drinking whisky, sniffing knickers and covered in blood’

A repeat drink-driver was reported to police after being witnessed swigging from a bottle of whisky, covered in blood and sniffing a pair of knickers in a supermarket car park.

A member of staff at Morrisons supermarket, in Felixstowe, told police what they had seen in the car park at about 11am on October 26, 2019.

Officers responded and found Christopher Goodwin sitting behind the wheel of a Land Rover Freelander in nearby Grange Road.

In police custody, he was found to have 41 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.

Goodwin accepted drink-driving but disputed the Morrisons employee’s account of what they witnessed.

He told magistrates: “I don’t even like Scotch, and that thing about having knickers on my head never happened.”

He was banned from driving for three years and fined £100. He was also ordered to pay £200 in prosecution costs and a statutory £32 victim surcharge.

‘Mind-boggling stupidity’ - suspended sentences for men who accidentally started £1.6m blaze with prank

Two bored shop workers who caused a devastating £1.6 million fire at a Bury St Edmunds cycle shop while trying to cremate a mouse in a cardboard box were given suspended prison sentences.

Dysney Sibbons and Ashley Finley were “trying to amuse themselves on a boring day” when they used an accelerant to burn the rodent in a store room, Ipswich Crown Court was told in July 2019.

The pair thought they had extinguished the fire and went back to the front of the Cycle King shop in Angel Hill.

However, shortly afterwards they realised the store room was alight and after doing their best to put it out ran into the burning building in a desperate bid to remove as much stock as they could, said Christopher Wing, prosecuting.

Judge David Pugh accused them “mind-boggling stupidity” and said there had been a “ clear and obvious” risk.

Sibbons, 23, of Elmsett Close, Stowmarket, and Finley, 25, of Borley Crescent, Elmswell, admitted arson being reckless as to whether property would be damaged.

They were each given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 280 hours unpaid work.

Man who threatened to ‘rearrange’ face of train conductor is jailed

Cassell Shallow, 35, of Dean Close, London, was at Ipswich railway station in October last year and asked a member of staff at the barrier if he could travel to London without a ticket.

When he was told he could not, Shallow said: “I’m going to do what I’m going to do.”

The member of staff continued to observe Shallow and he bought a ticket to Manningtree, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

On the train, Shallow was challenged by a ticket inspector but the train had already gone past Manningtree and he was told he would need to buy another ticket.

Shallow then became abusive, Richard Sedgewick, prosecutor, told the court, refusing to buy another ticket and telling the inspector: “I’m not buying a ticket to Colchester. I’ll rearrange your face”.

He again became aggressive and abusive and a search of his rucksack revealed a broken kitchen knife, a metal throwing card with a serrated edge, and £110 worth of cannabis.

Judge Peters sentenced Shallow to eight months for each offensive weapon charge to run concurrently.

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