Brothers are sentenced to a 12 month community order after assaulting a debt collector

Court
Court

Two brothers who assaulted a High Court enforcement agent by pushing him after he had visited one of their homes to recover a debt have been given community orders.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, June 25, how Neil Botham, 46, and Stephen Botham, 50, admitted pushing enforcement officer Barry Croft when he and a colleague visited Stephen Botham’s home at Corner Pin Close, Staveley.

Prosecuting solicitor Michael Treharne told a previous hearing High Court enforcement agents had visited on December 1 and on December 13 to serve warrants or to recover debts dealt with by their office or the High Court that were outstanding.

Officers are entitled to enter properties, to take photos and to look for assets or anything that might settle a debt if payment is not forthcoming.

Mr Treharne added: “On these two occasions difficulties arose with aggressive and abusive behaviour towards them. They were called a variety of names and told to get off the property.”

The court heard one of two visiting agents, Barry Croft, was pushed in the chest by the defendants and his tablet computer was knocked out of his hand by a kick on December 1.

Both defendants approached Mr Croft again after police had arrived, according to Mr Treharne, and continued to be abusive and during their arrest Stephen Botham continued to insult the officers.

Mr Treharne said the enforcement agents went back to get payments and were shown a cheque but this did not prove any payments had been completed.

He added they completely lost it and treated these people with contempt.

Neil Botham, of West View, Barlborough, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault by beating against Barry Croft after the incident on December 1, 2017.

The court heard that Stephen Botham, of Corner Pin Close, Staveley, has previous convictions for violent disorder, harassment offences, threatening behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He pleaded guilty to assault by beating against Barry Croft, using threatening behaviour and admitted damaging the computer tablet from December 1, 2017.

Defence solicitor John Wilford told the previous hearing that Neil Botham is of good character and Stephen Botham accepts he lost it but the damage to the tablet was a reckless action and not deliberate.

Magistrates, who considered probation reports, sentenced Neil Botham to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £250 costs.

Stephen Botham was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and must complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £300 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £250 costs.