Man who threatened to stab Princess Anne avoids jail

A 35-YEAR-old man who threatened to stab Princess Anne was found by royal protection officers entering the grounds of her Gatcombe Park home in the Cotswolds, a court was told yesterday (Thursday).

James Ballinger, of Farm Close, Minchinhampton, had made a series of 999 calls to police on February 27 stating he was going to the Princess Royal’s Gloucestershire estate to stab her, Cheltenham Magistrates were told.

Later that day, he was found at Gatcombe Park and detained by royal household protection officers. He was unarmed.

The defendant, who has mental health issues, was sentenced to a 12-month community order which includes attending a programme to address his alcohol and mental health problems as well as a six day rehabilitation activity requirement. 

A six-month exclusion order banning Ballinger from entering Gatcombe Park was also imposed by the court.

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