Volatile man pleaded guilty — (The Comet)

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The Comet

31 October 2005

Short tempered Neil Banton told a judge he had had five months to calm down in prison, after losing it when he was stopped yet again by police in Letchworth GC.

His barrister, Stephen Akinsanya, told Luton Crown Court: “He was known to local police and was stopped – sometimes legitimately and sometimes not.

“This time there was a legitimate reason to stop him as he had no insurance or tax, but he was volatile possibly due to anti-depressant drugs he was on. He was feeling paranoid about the whole situation.”

James Rouse, prosecuting, said that on March 31 last year Banton was followed by police in Radburn Way. He began speeding and was stopped at a petrol station.

But he got out of his car and began swearing and threatening physical abuse, suggesting the police had better things to do.

“He was warned to desist several times but that just brought on a further tirade of expletives,” said Mr Rouse.

Officers attempted to handcuff him but he became extremely violent and one officer was injured. Banton then produced a Black and Decker work bench from his vehicle and began swinging it around.

But eventually he calmed down and was arrested. He began apologising, but was still swearing, the court was told.

When interviewed he said he had been pulled over the day before, and admitted he had started shouting and swearing, but said that just “rolled off his tongue”.

He said he had merely held up the work bench to ward the police off because he did not want to be handcuffed, but did not think it had been threatening.

Banton, 36, of Parkfield, Letchworth, pleaded guilty to a charge of affray and last week was jailed for 230 days which meant his immediate release.

Judge Gareth Davies told the father of four:
“You have a significant record involving quite a lot of violence.


“Police had reason to stop you but that became a very unpleasant situation for police because you are very strong and have a problem with your temper.”

Banton said to him: “I have had five months to calm down, sir.