Man who threatened bailiff with knife avoids jail to look after elderly mother

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A 45-year-old man who threatened a bailiff with a knife after he came round to collect an unpaid £800 council tax bill has avoided a jail sentence.

Philip Devenport, of Marlow Road, Towcester, was found guilty after a trial at Northampton Magistrates’ Court of a public order offence.

The court heard the bailiff called at Devenport’s home address on September 6 last year.

Devenport swore at the bailiff and shut the door in his face. The bailiff then knocked on the door again and Devenport opened the door with a knife in his hand.

The bailiff then went back to his car to complete a report of the incident and, a short while later, Devenport then walked past and threatened him again.

Ron Mineards, defending, said the offence was clearly aggravated by the fact it was against a bailiff and involved him being threatened with a knife.

The district judge presiding over the case said he “could not think of many more serious examples of a public order offence” but decided not to send Devenport to jail as he was the full-time carer for his elderly mother.

Devenport was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must compete a 10-day course, pay costs of £620, victim surcharge of £80 and compensation to the bailiff of £85.