Woman in court after threatening to burn down pub

Woman in court after threatening to burn down pub

by Lynda Roughley (August 2022)

THE landlord of a Southport pub was too afraid to go to home after a drunken woman customer made arson threats.

Emma Ratcliffe also racially abused licensee Hassan Akdeniz during the incident at the Fox and Goose public house in Cable Street.

The 20-year-old, who admitted she had been in the wrong after being put in a police van, was told by District Judge Wendy Lloyd, "This was truly horrible behaviour.”

Liverpool Magistrates Court heard that she became aggressive at about 11.30pm on March 2 this year after her partner was detained in relation to another offence.

She began swearing and kicking at the doors of the premises after being told the police would be called. A "clearly intoxicated" Ratcliffe then called the licensee a "f***ing P**i" and threatened to burn the pub down.

Bodycam footage of the incident captured after officers arrived at the scene was played to the court and she was heard saying, "I'm not f***ing a***d.

"It's funny when this place goes up in flames. It will go up in flames. I'm not a***d if I get charged for it. I'm not a***d if I get five years for it. It's going up in flames, watch it."

After being taken into a police van, Ratcliffe admitted she was "in the wrong". When interviewed she said she had been out with her boyfriend for his birthday and had been drinking vodka before he was arrested around 11pm, said Jack Child, prosecuting. 

She added that Mr Akdeniz had been a "good friend" and wanted to apologise to him as she was "disgusted by her actions".

In a statement the victim said that he had feared going home that evening due to her threats. 

Ratcliffe, of Banastre Road, Southport, pleaded guilty to threatening to cause criminal damage and racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

District Judge Lloyd told her, "At night, these kinds of situation can escalate. You say you are not racist, but these words came out of your mouth.

"You left the victim in fear of an arson attack that night. He didn't know what would happen next or how seriously to take all of this."

She said she accepted she had a good background and has some family and personal issues. “You say you are shocked by your behaviour.”

Ratcliffe, who has no previous convictions, was given a 12 month community order and ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and 20 days rehabilitation activities.

The jobless defendant was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Akdeniz and £180 costs. The judge barred her from entering the Fox and Goose for two years or contacting the victim.

Heather Toohey, defending, told the court that Ratcliffe is remorseful for her out of character behaviour and she no longer drinks alcohol.

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