Man attacked with garden shears as terrified child watches - The Coventry Observer

16th Aug, 2022

Man attacked with garden shears as terrified child watches

Coventry Editorial 21st Aug, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MAN took a swipe at his brother with a pair of garden shears in front of a terrified child after accusing him of stealing his cannabis.

Luckily, John Fawkner’s brother managed to dodge the blade and was pulled into his girlfriend’s home as a second swipe was aimed at him, Warwick Crown Court has heard.

But Fawkner, who had no legal representation after refusing to contact solicitors whose details he was given, escaped being jailed.

Fawkner (20) of Ashbourne Close, Wood End, Coventry, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon and a public order offence.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to undergo a 35-day rehabilitation requirement and to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

And, despite his protests, Judge Alan Parker imposed a restraining order banning him from having any contact with his brother Samuel Fawkner.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said that on July 18 Samuel, four years older than Fawkner, was at his girlfriend’s family’s home in Wood End when the defendant turned up.

Fawkner accused him of having taken his cannabis.

There was an argument, Samuel pushed the defendant who then produced half a pair of garden shears from the waistband of his trousers.

He lunged towards Samuel, ‘swinging out with a slicing motion,’ but Samuel managed to jump back in time to avoid the blade, said Mr Simpson.

“There was a second swing, and Samuel was pulled back into the house and the door was shut.”

Fawkner, who had previously gone out with his brother’s girlfriend, then left, threatening: “This is not over.”

There were two children in the house, and at least one of them saw what happened and was screaming.

When Fawkner, who had no previous convictions, was arrested he admitted going there to confront his brother and that he had intended to connect with the blade of the shears, but left when he heard one of the children screaming.

Addressing Fawkner over the application for a restraining order, Judge Parker said: “There has been a bit of a bad history between you and your brother for some time, and this has not helped.

“What the prosecution are asking is for me to make an order requiring you to keep away from him.  If I make an order of that kind, are you going to comply with it?”

At first he said he would, but then complained that he would have difficulty doing so because he would see Samuel in the street in the Wood End area.

Asked whether he was sorry for what he did or for getting caught, Fawkner replied surlily: “A bit of both. He shouldn’t have done what he did, should he.”

Sentencing Fawkner, Judge Parker said: “There is a very obvious sentence which could be said to be called for, because people who arm themselves with bladed articles intending to threaten someone with them deserve to go to prison.

“But he has no convictions and therefore has never been to custody.  I recognise that to send him to detention today is likely to make this unhappy family situation all the worse.

“He has given a very bad account of himself indeed in court, and I have had to give serious thought to sending him to custody.  However, he ought to be given the chance to co-operate with probation.”

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