ANOTHER busy month at Swindon's courts saw attackers, drug dealers, burglars, paedophiles and a fraudster locked up over Christmas and for the forseeable future.

These are some of the biggest cases our court reporter covered in December.

Swindon Advertiser: Kyle Coupe and Tee-Jay O'HanlonKyle Coupe and Tee-Jay O'Hanlon

A BRUTISH duo smashed a man against a bus stop in an attack of such violence it took eight metal plates to fix their victim’s shattered face.

Thugs Tee-Jay O’Hanlon and Kyle Coupe had minutes earlier bundled darts player Daryl Bayley into a side street in what prosecutors claimed was an attempted mugging.

The 52-year-old victim was punched several times by Coupe before he managed to poke his assailant in the arm with a dart and get away.

Jailing O’Hanlon to eight years and four months imprisonment and Coupe to seven years and eight months, Judge Peter Crabtree labelled the attack brutal and vicious.

Coupe, of Walter Close, west Swindon, and O’Hanlon, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding with intent.

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Swindon Advertiser: Peter Maynard (in puffa jacket) outside crown courtPeter Maynard (in puffa jacket) outside crown court

A DAD still scarred from years of childhood abuse groomed two teenage girls at a council-run hostel for homeless families.

Peter Maynard was living at Underwood House, Stratton, with his own teen children in 2002 when he started preying on the girls – then aged 13 and 15.

Swindon Crown Court heard the environment at the council flats was dysfunctional, with Maynard’s lawyer comparing it to the hellish scenes drawn by 18th century artist William Hogarth.

The abiding smell at the hostel was cannabis, solicitor Rob Ross said. Adults shared drink and drugs with the children.

The 51-year-old, of Hatch Road, Stratton, admitted eight counts of indecent assault and indecency against a child.

He was sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

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Swindon Advertiser: Claire Ball (inset) stole money from her mother to pay for a holidayClaire Ball (inset) stole money from her mother to pay for a holiday

A FRAUDSTER stole £42,000 from her sick mother – splurging the ill-gotten gains on a holiday to Cyprus and Netflix.

A Swindon court heard that swindling daughter Claire Ball had saved just £200 in compensation.

Her mum, who is in her mid-70s, said she had been left with just £4 in her Post Office account and felt humiliated when she had to borrow cash for the first time in her life.

In a statement read to the court the woman said: “I know I’ll never get any of the money back but it isn’t necessarily about that. It’s the betrayal I can’t get over.”

Ball was jailed at Swindon Crown Court for two years and nine months.

A carer for her mother, who has multiple sclerosis, the 49-year-old helped manage the woman’s financial affairs after the death of the her dad in 2015.

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Swindon Advertiser: Michael AndrewsMichael Andrews

A PAEDOPHILE who brought Haribo sweets, condoms and a blanket to a woodland meeting with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl has been jailed for more than two years.

Michael Andrews had struck up a conversation with the teen on social media network Kik – a messenger app beloved of under-16s.

But the 13-year-old “girl” with whom Andrews exchanged increasingly explicit messages was no child. She was, in fact, a police officer working alongside the regional organised crime unit.

Andrews, of Clover Close, Melksham, pleaded guilty to four charges including attempting to engage a child in sexual activity and attempting to encourage a child to watch a sexual act.

Sentencing Andrews to 27 months imprisonment, Judge Crabtree said: “This was grooming over seven weeks and involved encouragement of a girl who you thought was 13 to [perform a sex act on herself].”

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Swindon Advertiser: David Mundy (inset) smashed windows at the Deer's LeapDavid Mundy (inset) smashed windows at the Deer's Leap

A DRUNK who smashed 43 windows in a Penhill pub then kicked a police officer in the head has been jailed for 16 weeks.

David Mundy was subject to two community orders when he targeted the panes of the Deer’s Leap public house.

At around 11.30pm landlord Ian Watson was heading to bed when he heard smashing from downstairs in the pub. It went on for around 10 minutes – in which time Mundy managed to smash more than 40 panes from out of the bar’s windows.

Magistrates decided the offences were so serious that only an immediate prison spell was sufficient. He was jailed to a total of 16 weeks and was ordered to pay £150 compensation to the three officers.

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Swindon Advertiser: Behar KasemiBehar Kasemi

A THUG bit one of the police officers scrambled to a Swindon park after reports of threats being made to a dog walker.

Special constable Stephen Proctor was left with a flap of skin hanging from his finger after Behar Kasemi wrapped his teeth around the officer’s hand, Swindon Crown Court heard.

The volunteer police officer, who has been doing the job for seven years, had to have a series of blood tests and was told by doctors that the consequence of a human bite could be more serious than a dog bite.

Kasemi, 46, of Maidstone Road, Old Town, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sentencing him to nine months imprisonment, Judge Taylor said: “To use the colloquial, you kicked off and you kicked off to such a degree a special constable, who was volunteering his free time because he loved helping people, went to assist officers."

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Swindon Advertiser: Matthias BrandtMatthias Brandt

A SPURNED fiancé who admitted buying a £600 a “murder kit” appeared to label the charge that has seen him jailed for seven years and eight months ludicrous.

Having previously admitted arranging with a hitman to buy the revolver, stun gun, ammunition and dismembering knife, Matthias Brandt this afternoon appeared to go back on the plea.

Appearing before Bristol Crown Court, Brandt said as he was sentenced: “I’m not guilty of count three [encouraging another to supply the weapons]. I didn’t plan to murder anyone.”

He then appeared to say: “In my opinion this is ludicrous.”

Sentencing Brandt, Judge Peter Blair ruled the 43-year-old to be dangerous, ordered he serve at least two thirds of his jail term and said he would be subject to an extended licence period of four years and four months. The total length of the sentence is 12 years.

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Swindon Advertiser: Liam Lowery's mugshot (inset) and CCTV footage of the burglaryLiam Lowery's mugshot (inset) and CCTV footage of the burglary

A FRESH-faced burglar who was part of a gang that ransacked a countryside home was accused of “sticking two fingers” up to the courts.

New dad Liam Lowery said he had just been trying to put food on the table. He was tracked down by detectives after a police appeal plastered his face over the net.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court, the 20-year-old was jailed for two years for his part in the burglary.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said Lowery had an appalling record of failing to comply with court orders – with the burglary committed just two months after he had been released from prison. He had previous convictions for breaking-and-entering and attempted burglary.

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Swindon Advertiser: John GibbonsJohn Gibbons

AN ADDICT caught selling heroin and crack cocaine to plain-clothes police officers became the latest to be jailed in an undercover sting that has claimed dozens of dealers.

John Gibbons cycled around Park South and Walcot dishing out the illegal drugs from out of a plastic bag.

Jailing Gibbons, a Swindon judge told him he was part of a trade that ruins lives.

Swindon Crown Court heard that on multiple occasions this summer, the 51-year-old sold sets of three wraps of crack and heroin for £25 to undercover officers directed to different locations in the Parks and Walcot area – including a skate park at Buckhurst Field just 40m from a children's nursery.

Two officers who bought the drugs on separate occasions in August said Gibbons had a plastic bag with him in which they estimated was stashed around 50 wraps of class A drugs.

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Swindon Advertiser: Dion WhyteDion Whyte

AN ABUSIVE dad was so unconcerned about allegations he had smashed his ex’s windows with a claw hammer that he began reading a book during his police interview.

Dion Whyte left his partner of 17 years and their two children so terrified that the woman has since had to switch bedrooms with her nine-year-old son.

The 43-year-old has been jailed for 23 months for what a Swindon judge labelled a terrifying episode.

When he was interviewed by police, he made no comment – even bringing a page turner to read instead of answering detectives’ questions.

Whyte, of David Street, Bristol, admitted affray on the day of his trial.

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Swindon Advertiser: Alessandro ColucciAlessandro Colucci

A DRUG-ADDLED burglar who told a shop assistant “I’m going to swing for you” begged magistrates to jail him.

The justices granted Alessandro Colucci his wish, with the offences so serious they sentenced him to a year in prison – the maximum tariff the magistrates’ court can mete out.

The 40-year-old admitted raiding Rendezvous Chinese takeaway, the hairdresser’s next door and Food Warehouse on October 27 and 28.

Colucci, of Showfield, Royal Wootton Bassett, admitted three counts of burglary, shoplifting and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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Swindon Advertiser: Graham KiddGraham Kidd

A BURGLAR who also stole hundreds of pounds worth of Blu-Ray DVDs and a pair of rubbish bins from Asda has been jailed for more than two years.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court, Graham Kidd was sentenced to two years and two months’ imprisonment.

The 36-year-old, of Westwood Avenue, admitted the two burglaries and a shoplifting charge when he appeared in the dock at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in November.

Judge Jason Taylor QC sentenced Kidd to 14 months for the first burglary and 12 months for the second. He was given a further month inside for the shoplifting, which will be served concurrently.

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Swindon Advertiser: Simon AmblerSimon Ambler

AN INFAMOUS purse dipper who left one victim in tears and another feeling devastated has been jailed for more than two years.

After a series of no shows, Simon Ambler was finally sentenced to 27 months imprisonment at Swindon Crown Court for a series of purse thefts at shops across the town.

Notorious for his purse dipping habit, Ambler’s latest crimes were all committed over a 20-day period between August 2 and 22

He targeted an elderly woman volunteering in the West Swindon library and others as they shopped in Wilko, Sainsbury’s and Aldi stores.

The 41-year-old’s record of 51 convictions for 133 offences has previously been labelled appalling by the judge that sentenced him.

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Swindon Advertiser: Cars smashed on Ruskin AvenueCars smashed on Ruskin Avenue

A DRUNK who smashed his Volkswagen into two parked cars after binging on beers then abused A&E staff and patients has been jailed for three months.

Matthew Brown was already on bail for drink driving when police were called to reports of a crash on Ruskin Avenue late on Monday evening, Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 32-year-old had smashed his silver VW Golf into two parked cars before wandering home. When police arrived at the scene a member of the public named Brown as the driver of the hatchback.

Brown, of Ruskin Avenue, pleaded guilty to drink driving, failing to provide a sample of breath and disorderly behaviour.

Magistrates sentenced Brown to a total of 12 weeks imprisonment, banned him from driving for four years and ordered he pay a £122 victim surcharge.

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