Jail for threatening to kill stranger and racially assaulting police officer in Northampton town centre

'There is no excuse for the way you behave and react to people or perceive what people are doing or saying to you'

By Jack Duggan
Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:13 pm
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:14 pm

A man who threatened to kill a stranger in Northampton town centre before racially assaulting a police officer was jailed on Friday (September 24).

Daniel Ashby told a man in St Giles Street he would shoot him in the head for looking at him and racially abused a female officer and spat in her face in July.

The 38-year-old, of no fixed abode, was imprisoned for 16 months at Northampton Crown Court after previously being found guilty of the assault and admitting to the threatening behaviour.

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Daniel Ashby. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Recorder Christopher Donnellan told him: "There is no excuse for the way you behave and react to people or perceive what people are doing or saying to you."

Lucky Thandi, prosecuting, said Ashby aggressively told the man: "I will put a bullet in your head and kill you....." after approaching him for no reason in St Giles Street at around 1.30pm on July 20.

The shocked victim backed away as he felt intimidated and did not know if the defendant had a weapon or not but he followed him until he reached Fish Street.

Two police officers arrested Ashby on Castilian Street and he started to abuse them too, accusing them of being racist and threatened to shoot them in the head.

The defendant swore at the female officer and spat in her face by her eye after being asked if he had any coronavirus symptoms.

Recorder Donnellan told him: "Notwithstanding you had already committed an offence and were being lawfully arrested and proportionately treated, you reacted in a way which was quite unacceptable.

"You didn't just object to being arrested, you turned it in to a racist, unpleasant, abusive attack on officers doing their lawful duty."

The judge added: "One of the factors that concerns me is spitting at the officer - one thing that is significantly unpleasant to do.

"To take in anybody and spit at them, not because of Covid, although that is an added factor, it's such an unpleasant and degrading thing to try to do to somebody."

Ashby, who has 43 convictions for 113 offences, was found guilty of the assault and admitted to the threatening behaviour on the first day of his trial at Northampton Magistrates' Court on September 10.

Recorder Donnellan told him: "It's a great pity you contested the matter as your only mitigation that's missing is a guilty plea - you had the good sense to plead guilty for the section four offence.

"You have an appalling record in really bad in the last couple of years for these sorts of offending."

Liam Muir, defending, said his client had just had a 'heated domestic discussion' shortly before the first altercation, which he accepts is 'completely unacceptable'.

"He is a man who struggles with his emotions and his emotional maturity," he said.

"Looking at his previous convictions and response to supervision, he has people who rely on him and he appreciates he needs to grow up and deal with his emotional maturity and deal with matters."

Recorder Donnellan sentenced Ashby to 16 months for the assault and 10 weeks concurrent for the threatening behaviour.

"You are going to have to use the time to consider how you are going to approach the future as sadly seeing your catalogue of offending, unless you make a change, the sentences will proportionately get longer," the judge warned him.