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Lavenham pub landlord avoids jail after 'moment of madness' assault on customer

By Newsdesk Sudbury

Ipswich Crown Court. (4603091)
Ipswich Crown Court. (4603091)

A Suffolk landlord, who stormed into his own pub after misinterpreting CCTV images and struck a customer with an offensive weapon, has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

John Raines, 52, had been brandishing an extendable baton when he arrived at The Angel in Market Place, Lavenham on Monday, January 8.

Ipswich Crown Court heard last Wednesday that Raines, a resident of Langham Road in Boxted, had believed that someone else at the pub had been making advances towards his wife.

Raines had struck one customer on the hand with the baton and another suffered a cut when a glass he was holding shattered as the weapon struck it.

The court was told that Raines had pleaded guilty to offences of affray, possession of a baton and possession of a taser device, which is categorised under law as a Section 5 firearm.

Handing down a sentence of nine months imprisonment, which has been suspended for 12 months, Judge Rupert Overbury told Raines he accepted the incident had been out of character for the 52-year-old, and he had acted while his judgement was affected by financial concerns.

Judge Overbury said he believed the incident appeared to have been a "moment of madness."

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said Raines later told police officers he had seen CCTV images which led him to believe a customer was "trying it on" with his wife.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Raines was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work, pay £250 compensation to two customers at the pub, and £750 in prosecution costs.

Matthew Gowen, appearing for Raines, said his client deeply regretted his actions, and he had been under financial stress at the time.


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