Grantham court: Man frightened family of his deceased friend

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Magistrates heard how a man banged on a door demanding his bike back from the widow of his recently deceased friend.

At 6pm on April 7, Lee Rhodes, of Great Close, South Witham, turned up at an address on Churchill Road, Stamford.

This was the home of his friend’s widow and her children, who were described by prosecutor Jim Clare as ‘frightened’ when Rhodes began banging on the kitchen door. The defendant was ‘ranting and raving’ that he wanted his bike back, which was in his late friend’s possession after clearing a debt.

When the complainant asked him to leave because he was scaring her children, Rhodes replied “I don’t give a f***,” before starting to bang on the garage door.

She then called a friend who quickly came over and attempted to reason with Rhodes. When he continued to shout and swear the police were called and he was arrested and charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.

Pleading guilty to the charge and representing himself in court, Rhodes acknowledged that he went about trying to speak to the complainant in the wrong way.

He added that she had also told him to ‘f*** off’, and she became ‘paranoid’ that he was filming the incident with his phone, which he denied and threw his mobile phone on the ground to prove it.

During his police interview Rhodes said that he was also in mourning for his friend, who had died only nine weeks before. The incident occurred in the same week that the family had returned to their property.

Prior to sentencing, a report was given by the Probation Service which identified Rhodes’ remorse over the events.

While drink had played a factor in his behaviour, there was no indication of alcohol dependency and Rhodes had since taken steps to avoid getting excessively drunk.

In line with the Probation Service’s recommendations, Rhodes was sentenced to serve a community order comprising 100 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.