Stick-wielding man claimed Paris atrocities sparked his racist insults

An armed man confronted bailiffs and racially abused one of them as they carried out a raid on his home to recover a debt.

Monday, 7th December 2015, 12:31 pm
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Stefan Pridden, 43, of Somercotes Hill, Somercotes, Alfreton, rushed home and armed himself with a big stick after he received a call that bailiffs were at his home.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “Court enforcement officer Darren Tombs and a colleague went to Pridden’s address to collect a payment balance of £585 from a 2006 offence.

“Pridden’s son allowed them in and he called Pridden and he said he was on his way home.

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“A door slammed and Pridden came into the living room with a large wooden stick waving it towards Mr Tombs and he feared he was going to be assaulted.”

Mrs Allsop added that Pridden swore and demanded that the bailiffs get out and he racially abused Mr Tombs who is dark-skinned and referred to him as a Muslim.

Police confirmed arriving at the property and seeing Pridden with a three foot long stick and that there were insults with Muslim references even though Mr Tombs is not a Muslim.

Pridden told police he thought he was being burgled and his goods were on the floor and he was too irate to look at any paperwork.

He also admitted insulting the enforcement officer with a Muslim reference but said that following the Paris atrocities it was the first offensive thing that came out of his mouth.

Mrs Allsop asked the court to consider the hate crime element during sentencing.

She said: “It’s not the insult itself but the way the insult was aimed at the ethnicity of the complainant and I would ask for an uplift in the sentence.”

Pridden pleaded guilty to assault on the basis of causing fear of violence after the incident on November 17.

Defence solicitor John Wilford said Pridden acknowledges making the remarks despite not holding these views and happily working with people from different countries but the Paris atrocities were in his mind.

Magistrates sentenced Pridden on December 2 to a community order which will last until April, 2016, with a 20 week curfew.

He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge, £85 costs and a £150 courts charge.