Judge hits out at decision to prosecute Mapperley Park man who confronted youths outside his flat
A JUDGE has criticised the decision to charge a man confronted by a gang of rowdy youths outside his flat because he had a knife in his hand when he opened the door.
David Beeley was arrested after he was spotted with a kitchen knife close to the front of his apartment in Mapperley Park on Monday, August 13.
Nottingham Crown Court heard he had been asleep at about 11.30pm when he had been woken by shouting in the street outside his flat in Ebers Road.
Andrew Tanser, prosecuting, said the noise was caused by youths who were "rowdy and clearly in drink".
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He said Beeley, 44, had shouted down from a window to them to be quiet and the group shouted back.
Beeley went back in to his flat but a short time later the group returned.
Mr Tanser said: "They came back with metal implements and were banging on his door – he came downstairs with the knife still in his hand."
Police were called and Beeley was arrested. The court heard the knife was an ordinary kitchen knife.
Michael Evans, defending, said his client admitted possession of a bladed article to avoid the stress of a trial and simply wanted the matter to end.
Judge Michael Stokes, QC, questioned whether Beeley should be in court when none of the people who came to his door had been arrested.
He gave him a conditional discharge, meaning he will face no punishment for the charge.
Describing Beeley as of "good character", he added: "Which genius thought it was in the public interest to prosecute this defendant?"
After the hearing Beeley, a logistics manager, told the Post: "I was a little bit rankled because of the aggression I received – but I shouldn't have done that, it was a bad decision."
He said he did not believe any of the people who banged on his door had been prosecuted.
He added: "I was a little bit disappointed by that because you wonder whether they will go on to do something else."
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "When this case was charged, a prosecutor, as in all cases, considered the evidence in the case and the public interest.
"The evidence provided showed that the defendant had left his apartment building carrying a large kitchen knife with the intention of making a group of youths who were causing a disturbance leave the vicinity.
"The prosecutor took the view that going out in public with a knife can often inflame a situation, rather than resolve it.
"The defendant pleaded guilty to this offence, on the basis that he had the knife in his hand because he had been cooking and had gone outside out of fear for himself and other residents in the block.
"This plea was accepted by the prosecution."