A man who went on a ‘mad rampage’ in the town centre, ending up nearly naked on a pub window ledge, told a court his drink had been spiked.
Described by his defence as ‘an otherwise respectable man,’ 27-year-old Johnathan Fleming was forced to relive his antics in front of magistrates this week when he was handed an eight week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
It was a moment of madness in the early hours of August 13 last year that led Fleming before the courts, as prosecutors recounted how he went into a takeaway kitchen to get a knife to threaten a nightclub security guard before going on a rampage of criminal damage and ending up on the balcony of a pub in just his underwear.
The entire incident was blamed on a ‘spiked drink’ according to Fleming.
He plead guilty to three charges of criminal damage and one charge of using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.
Prosecutor Chris Fontaine said Fleming was escorted peaceably out of Club Monroe at 4.45am on August 13 of last year, after being rude to staff, but once outside the club he became abusive and aggressive. Following a struggle with a security guard, during which he lost his t-shirt, Mr Fontaine said he ran towards the Turkish Delight takeaway on Coronation Walk.
The security guard followed Fleming into the shop and he went straight into the kitchen where he grabbed a knife and waved it in the direction of the guard and a woman. Staff grabbed Fleming from behind and took the knife from him, he was then restrained and removed from the store.”
The court heard that Fleming returned to the store where he used a chair to smash the front window before going on to cause damage at the Willow Grove Bar on Lord Street. He smashed the front window with a fire extinguisher wearing just his underpants and then was seen to go out onto a veranda. He refused to go back into the pub and was eventually brought down by the fire services, the court heard.
Fleming was subsequently taken to hospital for injuries that required surgery, the prosecutor said, adding that the total cost to repair the damage he’d caused amounted to £5,482.50.
Solicitor Jim Smith said Fleming, who had no previous convictions, had acted out of character: “He finds himself in the situation of having significant remorse and significant mystery as to why he has behaved in this way.
“He was trying to get away from someone he perceived to be aggressively pursuing him. That’s why he ended up inside the pub and going onto the veranda where, bizzarely, he was in his underwear.”
Mr Smith added: “He believes that his drink must have been spiked with something.”
The magistrates sentenced Fleming to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, ordered that he undertake 80 hours of unpaid work. and made him pay in full for the damage he caused.