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SMASHED UP: Man given suspended sentence for damaging Watford YMCA bathroom

 Published on: 7th August 2023   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A man who smashed up a bathroom at the YMCA in Watford was given a suspended sentence today (Monday, August 7).

Charlie Baker, 31, also brandished a knife to threaten two police officers who were called out to deal with him and kicked one of them in the back.

He had gone to the community bathroom to be sick, having been drinking and taking cannabis. There, he became angry when he found himself covered in somebody else’s urine, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Brinder Soora said he had damaged a radiator, shower glass, toilet seat, toilet roll holder and an electrical socket.

The police arrived and he swore at them and at first refused to let them into his room.

When he did, he went towards one officer with a knife and kicked the other in the back. One of them said it was his most frightening experience in seven years of frontline policing.

Baker appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to criminal damage, assault on an emergency worker, and threatening a person with a blade in a private place.

Defending, Ben Rowe said: “He is devastated to be here – he knows the only person to blame is himself.

“A year ago, he was a roofer. He had a breakdown in a relationship and was unemployed and living in the YMCA. His mood got lower and lower and lower.

“He had been drinking and accepts he was feeling unwell and had used an excessive amount of cannabis that day. He went to be sick in the communal bathroom and found himself covered in urine.”

Mr Rowe said Baker had spent four weeks on remand in prison and was terrified by it. Since he was bailed, he said he had obtained a job with London Underground, repairing fences and tracks.

He said Baker was in a new relationship and wanted to apologise to the officers.

Recorder Lorna Skinner KC told him: “You know you have let yourself down and everyone around you.”

She sentenced him to 45 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months. He must complete 30 rehabilitation days and 200 hours’ unpaid work. In addition, he has 13 months to pay £2,250 – £500 each in compensation to the two officers, £500 to the YMCA and £750 prosecution costs.

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