The violent clubber, the reckless driver and the “show-off” caught on camera
These days, criminals are finding it harder than ever to go undetected when carrying out their illegal activities. Cameras ready to capture their every move can be found in most corners these days – and they will be presented with those glaring images in court.
Lawyers can often rely on showing clips of criminals caught in the act when presenting their case to a judge. Whether it’s CCTV, police-worn body cameras or dash cam clips, there’s a wide range of ways people have been caught in the act.
Below we’ve taken a look at some of the video clips that have played in courts across our region so far in 2022 – and won sentences for criminals in North Wales.
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Daniel Davies and Dean Pleavin
Mold Crown Court saw video footage in January which showed a ‘completely innocent’ man was attacked for no good reason as he tried to enjoy a night out at Wrexham. Daniel Davies, 28, and Dean Pleavin, 30, were both jailed for the vile attack earlier this year.
CCTV footage shown during the sentencing hearing and then shared with North Wales Live showed the moment the drunken couple attacked Richard Cupit. The men were pissed off after previously being told to leave a pub when they refused to follow the Covid safety procedures in place at the time
Mr Cupit ended up being the target of Davies’ assault as he punched the stranger in the face, knocking him to the ground as he was surrounded by horrified witnesses. The clip shows Pleavin taking a run before kicking the helpless Mr Cupit in the face as he lay on the ground.
Jailing the couple, the judge said: ‘The rules are there for a reason and it’s not for you to decide [Davies] to choose and choose whether you comply. If you and others don’t want to play by the rules, you just stay home instead of going out, getting drunk and throwing your weight around.”
A man caught with over a quarter of a million pounds of cannabis plants told Caernarfon Crown Court: ‘I thought they were flowers’. Police shared body worn footage of officers experiencing cultivation in Holyhead, Anglesey, where hundreds of plants were spread over five rooms in the “sophisticated” cultivation.
The “gardener” was 39-year-old Thanh Ho. Originally from Vietnam, he fled through the back of the “squalid” property but was caught and arrested.
The prosecutor said: “He admitted that he had taken care of the plants. He thought they were flowers. He had been forced to do the work by others.”
A judge said: “During the police interview, you explained to the officers that you thought you were growing flowers. Clearly that’s not the case.”
A teenager showing off to friends on the train tracks attacked a member of staff who was trying to protect him. When his behavior was challenged, he responded with violence.
Paul Levin, who had worked for the Ffestiniog Railway for 20 years, saw Shaw on the balcony of a steam train carriage and got him off. He feared that if he had fallen he would have landed on the tracks and could have been seriously injured.
But, back on the rig, Shaw was filmed swinging a ‘haymaker’ style punch at Mr Levin’s head, hitting his right temple. The prosecutor said Mr Levin momentarily passed out and his wound began to bleed “profusely”.
Caernarfon magistrates gave him an 18-month community order requiring him to complete up to 35 sessions of a retreat programme. He must also observe an electronically monitored curfew for nine weeks between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
CCTV footage has shown the chilling moment a tourist on holiday in North Wales pulled a ’10-inch kitchen knife’ at a shopkeeper in Towyn. Christopher Steven Bell, of Marcliffe Drive in Manchester, was staying in the area when an attempted shoplifting went horribly wrong.
After Premier Store staff confronted the couple, an argument broke out on the store’s steps. Mold Crown Court then saw footage which captured Bell, 32, during an altercation with store staff where he began to pull what was described as a ’10 inch kitchen knife’ from his trousers.
Her then partner – Paris Davies – was shown in the same footage throwing a bottle of beer at the wall of the store as she stood with the two children. The glass bottle “just missed” the store manager.
Judge Niclas Parry heard earlier in the hearing that Davies had been treated in Manchester and given a suspended sentence for her role in the incident. He said, however, the same freedom could not be given to Bell for his “shameful” actions when he imprisoned him for 16 months.
A man used a metal barrier as a battering ram injuring a security guard after he was told to wait to enter a nightclub in North Wales. He had to be hospitalized for his injuries.
Keith Williams, 47, had first used cocaine before the incident outside the Copa nightclub in Caernarfon, a court heard. The moment was captured on CCTV and broadcast for all to see.
Williams offered the guard £20 ‘in an attempt to bribe him’ to be allowed entry, the prosecutor said, after he was initially refused entry. Instead, he went back for a metal barrier and even lifted it above his head.
The judge, Nicola Saffman, heard how he rammed the metal barrier “as hard as he could” and saw that it took three people to restrain him. But, she admitted he was genuinely appalled at what he had done in suspending his prison sentence.
A police chase continued for seven miles and lasted 40 minutes even after cops blew the tires on the driver’s car. Jason David Hughes, of Talbot Road, Wrexham was seen driving the wrong way on one-way Bradley Road and performing a number of ‘really dangerous’ manoeuvres.
These included driving on the wrong side of the road and into the lane of oncoming traffic, ignoring traffic lights and overtaking a heavy goods vehicle “at excessive speed”. A judge at the Mold Crown Court described the 22-year-old’s conduct as “reckless in the extreme”.
Calling his conduct ‘grossly irresponsible’, the judge said: ‘I don’t know how you thought you were going to escape detection when a helicopter was following you in the sky. It may be a testament to your immaturity that you thought you were capable of.”
The judge said he had no choice but to impose a prison sentence, jailing him for a year for dangerous driving. Hughes has also been banned from driving for three years, and before getting back behind the wheel he must pass another extended test.
A woman who drove from Merseyside to North Wales to take her young son to the beach had four times the drinking limit. Sadie Smith, 47, of Centurion Drive in Meols, was caught in dash cam footage driving so erratically that she plowed through a roundabout and into a grassy edge.
Wrexham Magistrates Court heard it was ‘nothing short of pure luck’ that she did not cause a serious accident. Smith wept as her family sat next to her as court showed footage of her nearly colliding with a road sign on the A548 in Flintshire in March, with her seven-year-old son years old, in the car with her.
The court viewed dash cam footage of the mother of a child crossing the roads before finding herself on the grassy edge of a roundabout. She then started along the A548 towards Flint.
Smith was arrested after she was found at the McDonald’s restaurant in Flint Retail Park “stumbling into the drive” and “garbling her words”. When caught, she gave a breath reading of 139. The legal alcohol limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath.
Tracey Flavell of the probation service said Smith “clearly” was not thinking about the consequences of his actions that day. She acknowledged that “by trying to do something nice for her son” she was “in fact putting lives at risk.”
Presiding Judge Jacqui Jones called Smith’s actions “dangerous” and banned him from driving for the next 36 months. He was also told – as part of his 12-month community order – to perform unpaid labor for 300 hours.
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