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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Man broke into house, held knife to woman's throat

A man who held a knife to a woman’s throat and urinated inside a police van has been jailed.

Scott Topping photo
Scott Topping

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Scott Thomas Topping, 34, appeared at a house on Lime Court in Wigton, kicked the door open, burst inside and cornered a woman, then held a knife to her throat.

She was in the house along with her mum and three-year-old daughter.

Topping, of Kings Lane, Wigton, then began shouting threats about her brother, saying he would be a “dead man”.

The victim shouted at Topping, who left the house, before calling her brother and warning him of the threats.

After walking into the kitchen she saw Topping outside. He looked at her, took a drink from an alcopop bottle, then threw it through the window.

The court heard that he put his arms through the hole in the window and grabbed the victim, trying to pull her towards him. He let go but shortly afterwards burst in through the door again, before police were called.

Topping was put into a police van and began urinating inside, meaning the vehicle had to be cleaned.

Gerrard Rogerson, prosecuting, said: “He initially denied being at the address in interview, denied being in possession of a knife, and expressed surprise at the allegations. Text messages indicated he had been there and kicked the door and there was a text warning him that the police were in attendance.”

Topping pleaded guilty to charges of affray and criminal damage.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Batty QC said: “You now acknowledge that you were armed with a knife and you only pleaded guilty when the three witnesses had to be summoned to court in order for them to testify against you.

“This is as bad an offence of affray as one can imagine, as you forced your way into a house where there were a mother and daughter and her three-year-old child, and held a knife to the mother’s throat, threatening her brother.

“That in itself must have been utterly terrifying for those in the house.”

He has previous convictions including offences of burglary, attempted robbery and drunk and disorderly.

And in 2004 he was sentenced to eight years in prison after inflicting knife wounds on three people, including one man who was stabbed in the neck.

In mitigation, the court heard that Topping had been rehabilitating himself following his previous sentence.

Mark Shepherd, defending, said: “The key point is that he began drinking and that has coloured his memory and judgement at that time.

“He had managed to obtain accommodation and had a partner and employment.

“That has all been completely derailed because of alcohol that he consumed.”

DC Paul Scougal said: “We are glad that this man has been brought to justice. The victims were understandably shaken from their ordeal and we hope that with this man being taken out of society they can find some closure.”

Topping was given a 30-month sentence for the affray and a consecutive two-month sentence for the criminal damage.

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