A heated row erupted between a Crown Court Judge and a 41-year-old man who was being sentenced for 3 counts of assaults on an emergency worker as well as beating and strangulation.
James Webster appeared at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court via video link from Forest Bank Prison in Salford.
The case, which had originally been listed for 11.15 AM, ended up running slightly late - but the problems with the hearing didn't end there.
Once the hearing had begun, Webster appeared from a blue-coloured room wearing a grey tracksuit, the microphones in the courtroom were incredibly quiet meaning Webster simply couldn't hear the prosecution's statements.
The prosecution opened stating that Webster had made violent threats towards and assaulted emergency workers including police officers trying to clothe him before transferring him to custody after arresting him. One woman had a swollen right cheek and lumps on her head and bruising to her shoulder after an altercation with Webster in her home.
A victim statement from the woman, read by the defence said: "I only wanted to help him" and that she “shouldn’t have to feel like this in my own home.”
Further victim personal statements (VPS) from the police officers assaulted included one from PC O Brien who said: "I don’t come to work to be assaulted. I find his behaviour appalling" meanwhile a VPS from PC Hamilton said: “He wanted to assault me, I feel Webster doesn't like police officers, particularly females.”
Throughout this, an increasingly exacerbated Webster shouted "I can't hear what you're saying."
The Judge, Mr Recorder Blakey, said I can’t sentence him if he doesn’t understand what he is being sentenced for. The Judge once again told him to be quiet. Webster said “I don’t want to be produced, I just want to do it now,” He told the Judge to be quiet.
Webster was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. He'll spend 7 and a half of those in custody, and the remainder out on licence.