A 36-year-old Cirencester man who pointed a knife at a terrified teenager, pushed a fisherman into a lake, and grabbed another man by the testicles in a night club has walked free from court today.
Gary May, formerly of Upper Churnside, Cirencester – but now living in coronavirus emergency accommodation in Gloucester – received a six months suspended jail term at Gloucester crown court.
May had admitted charges of possessing a knife in public on September 7, 2018, common assault and criminal damage on June 18, last year, and common assault on February 6, this year.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said that on September 7, 2018, a 15-year-old boy was walking past the Budgens store in Cirencester when he saw May, who he had encountered earlier in the Abbey Grounds.
“May shouted at him and he turned to see him holding a black and orange Stanley knife towards him,” said Mrs Wood.
“The boy later looked on Facebook and found a photo of the defendant. He called the police and 20 minutes later an officer found May in the Holy Trinity Church grounds.
“The defendant walked away but the officer followed and arrested him. He didn’t have the knife on him then but it was found in the church grounds.
“The boy picked out the defendant in an identification parade.”
In a statement the boy said “I have never had anyone hold a knife towards me before. I do not want it to happen again. It has made me worry about going out on my own.”
Mrs Wood said that on June 18, last year, a man was fishing in the lake in the Abbey Grounds when May arrived on the scene.
“He suddenly flipped and charged at the victim,” she said. “He grabbed him and pushed him towards the edge of the lake. At the lakeside he then pushed the victim into the water.
“The victim had his mobile phone in his pocket and it was damaged as a result of going into the water.”
Later, when arrested, May claimed he had been acting in self defence,
Mrs Wood said the final offence on February 6, was at a club in Cricklade Street, Cirencester, where the defendant grabbed a revellers testicles on the stairs at about 9.30pm.
It happened after the reveller tried to shake hands with May and smooth out an earlier confrontation.
“He thought it was a joke but the defendant did not release his grip.
May later told police “He was going to grab me so I grabbed him first. That was it.”
Mrs Wood said: “It appears that his use of alcohol is a feature in all these cases.”
Sarah Jenkins, defending, said the Covid-19 emergency has helped May to stabilise his life and find new purpose. He had been homeless and living on the streets at the time of the offending and drink had been a problem.
But he is now accomodated in Gloucester because of the pandemic measures, has a new girlfriend, and is doing voluntary work in a church, she said.
She pointed out that the knife offence dated back 21 months and had taken an inexplicably long time to get to court.
May confirmed to Judge Ian Lawrie QC that he is now leading a much more settled life and is taking prescribed medication to help him.
The judge said that despite the number of offences and May’s past record he did not feel it was reasonable or proportionate to pass an immediate jail term.
He sentenced May to six months jail for all the offences suspended for 18 months and ordered him to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days run by the probation service.
He also ordered May to pay £50 compensation to the 15 year old boy and also to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
May was ordered to return to court on August 11 for a review of his behaviour on the order.