STAFF at a Bognor Regis town centre pub were scared to come to work after a former partner of the landlady threatened to burn down the building, Portsmouth Crown Court was told.
Speaking at a sentencing hearing on Damien Enticott, who is a town councillor, prosecuting barrister Richard Davies said, in a victim impact statement, the landlady of The William Hardwicke, Hannah Shrimpton, had been totally shocked by Enticott’s actions on September 23 and 24 last year.
At the crown court on January 9, Enticott, 34, of St Peter’s Crescent, Selsey, admitted assault on Miss Shrimpton, theft of £2,700 and burglary with intent to do damage at the pub.
He had been in a two-year relationship with Miss Shrimpton during which they lived in a flat at the premises but when the relationship ended in mid-September, she barred him from the pub.
However, on September 23, near closing time, he returned with another man, became agitated, then went behind the bar, removed a bottle of brandy and began drinking it, at which point staff called Miss Shrimpton.
When she arrived, Enticott pushed her, knocking her to the floor, bruising her knee. He then went to the cashier’s office, taking handfuls of cash from the till and made threats to burn the pub down as he left.
The incident continued the following evening, Mr Davies told the court last Friday. Enticott smashed a door panel to get into the pub but could not gain entry to the flat.
Miss Shrimpton stated she had been totally shocked by the assault and theft of the money, which meant she had been unable to pay staff. She had been scared by Enticott’s threats to burn down the pub and for her children’s welfare.
Enticott, who has previous convictions including several for assault, was not in court but joined proceedings through videolink from prison, where he has been in custody on remand since the end of last September.
Judge Roger Hetherington said, although Enticott believed he was owed money, it had been an upsetting incident for Miss Shrimpton and her staff.
He said: “You have served the equivalent of an eight-month custodial sentence and, because of the difficulties you plainly have in your own life, a more constructive disposal of the case is to try to get you help from the probation service.”
The judge imposed a two-year concurrent community order for all the offences, linked to a drug rehabilitation requirement, participation in a Thinking Skills programme and 15 days of rehabilitation activity to support Enticott’s mental health difficulties.
*Damien Enticott was elected for Labour in Hatherleigh ward of Bognor Regis Town Council in February, 2018, but resigned from the party in August last year over anti-Semitic comments he made on social media. He is an Independent councillor and attended the policy and ressources committee on Monday.