Threatened teenager with a piece of wood

A teenager was threatened with a piece of wood in a row over a 12-year-old being sold alcohol, a court heard.

A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to the then Cross Street home of Ryan Diggle and Jane Lawton on May 25 after he heard that Diggle had sold alcohol to the 12-year-old, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

Lawton answered the door while Diggle shouted down at the youngster from an upstairs window, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said. He was abusive to the teenager before throwing a glass out of the window, which landed on the grass and didn’t break. He then threw down a metal tin, which narrowly missed hitting the youngster, Mrs Fitzgerald added.

Lawton was also shouting at the teenager, whose father then arrived on the scene. The argument continued before Lawton lunged forward, looking as though she was going to slap the youngster. He moved backwards and Lawton then picked up a piece of wood, two feet long with several nails in it and told the teenager “you’d better run.”

Both Lawton and Diggle then went to leave the property, with Lawton kicking out at the teenager’s father’s car on her way, causing no damage but leaving a footprint.

Diggle, 21, of Fairfield Road, Buxton, denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour but was found guilty after trial.

Lawton, 31, of Fairfield Road, pleaded guilty to the same offence on the day of trial.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “I say from the outset, these defendants were in the wrong in this incident but I’d ask that you see the incident in context, taking on board what the defendants were subjected to.

“Miss Lawton tries to placate the complainant and says she’ll have a word with Mr Diggle. Matters on the doorstep become animated and heated. Miss Lawton by this time has repeatedly asked the complainant to leave her property and he declined to do so.

“Miss Lawton is sufficiently frustrated to pick up a piece of wood. She does not strike anybody with it. This is in her view the only way that she can diffuse the situation.

“The defendants were subject to a large amount of provocation in this incident. This was a wholly unsavoury incident where no-one covers themselves in glory.”

Lawton was given a 12-month community order with 225 hours’ unpaid work. She must also pay a £60 surcharge and £100 costs.

Diggle also received a 12-month community order with a 12-month supervision requirement. He must pay a £60 surcharge and £200 costs.