Judges at Swindon's crown court have a difficult job to do. They're tasked with deciding how to deal with those responsible for some of the county's most shocking crimes. 

After carefully weighing up the aggravating and mitigating features in a case, they're unafraid to tell the criminal in the dock exactly what they think.

We've collected together some of the hardest-hitting comments made from the bench in recent months. 

'Showing off - and an accident waiting to happen'

A BMW driver who ran down a cyclist was an “accident waiting to happen”.

Anthony Adams, 47, left his victim with a shattered leg – and needing multiple operations.

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Anthony Adams' custody shot

Swindon Crown Court heard he was drunk, showing off to friends and doing an estimated 70mph to 90mph on the A350 near Westbury before he hit the male cyclist, who was on his way home from riding to the Westbury White Horse.

Jailing him for two years and 10 months, Judge Jason Taylor QC told him: “You were, frankly, an accident waiting to happen that day – and the cyclist was the victim.

“He was waiting at a junction, waiting to turn out onto the main road, in fact it was the road you live on. He was wearing reflective clothing and his back was lit. He was there to be seen.

“As he waited he was confronted with what must be a cyclist’s worst nightmare. He became aware of your [car] coming round the corner far too fast, leaving him no effective means of escape.

“He at one point thought the car was going to go into the bushes but then recalls seeing the car swerve toward him, no doubt as you either panicked, lost control or both.” 

He added: “You were drunk and you’d been showing off your powerful car to your friends. You even ignored them, such was your arrogance, when they told you to slow down.”

Adams was banned from driving for three years, with a 17 month extension period. He must pass an extended retest if he wishes to drive again.

READ MORE: Judge slams drunk BMW driver who ran down cyclist in Wiltshire

'You should be ashamed of yourself'

A Rodbourne hit-and-run driver was told he should be ashamed of himself.

Mohammed Ali, 20, was sent to prison for six years and four months by Judge Robert Pawson at Swindon Crown Court.

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Mohammed Ali's custody shot

Opening his sentencing remarks, Judge Pawson quoted from a character reference from Ali’s cousin, Runa Khanon Bakar. “She says this: ‘I never imagined I’d be seeing anyone in that court dock, let alone my little cousin who love so dearly.’ And you’ve got siblings? You’ve got parents who from what I hear are hardworking members of society; money’s been tight over the years.

“I’m guessing, Mr Ali, that they’ve worked their socks off to provide a home for their children including you.

“And the torture that you’ve put them through – your own parents, your sisters – the emotional turmoil that they would have been through, I’m guessing, probably lying in bed at night with the lights off, unable to go to sleep, possibly in tears worrying about you.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, coming from a family like that, to put them through what you put them through.”

READ MORE: Judge's comments as he jails driver who put man in week-long coma

'You don't make major life decisions if your head's f***ed'

A judge warned a spree robber he should avoid making major life decisions if his ‘head was f***ed’.

James Cherry, 28, kicked off when his sentencing hearing had to be adjourned after it emerged he had not spoken to the probation service for a pre-sentence report.

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James Cherry

When he was told by the judge he would have to wait another month to be sentenced, Cherry said: “That’s another month twiddling my thumbs having to deal with this.” He went on to say his head was “f***ed”.

Judge Taylor said: “My experience of life is if your head is, to use your words, f***ed then you don't take major life decisions.”

The defendant later made what the judge described as a “w***** sign” at the court. The video link through which he appeared in court was placed on mute, prompting Cherry to sit on a table before knocking on a back door. As he was let out by a prison guard, the link was unmuted briefly. He was heard aiming the words “f*** off” and “f***ing w*****” at the judge.

Cherry faces sentence for a number of offences of robbery, theft and a charge of GBH.

READ MORE: Robber's x-rated rant at judge after delay to sentence

'You thought it was funny. Sadly, it wasn't'

A woman caught riding in a wheelbarrow while brandishing an axe was given a withering put-down about her behaviour.

Police were called to Broadgreen in early April after members of the public spotted Aleksandra Wojciechowska, 36, being pushed in the barrow – while she waved the axe.

She was given a 13 month suspended sentence by Judge Jason Taylor QC at Swindon Crown Court.

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Aleksandra Wojciechowska

The judge said: “It seems that the police were called to the report of you being pushed in a wheelbarrow whilst wielding an axe and shouting words to the effect of ‘do you want to die today?'

“In my judgement you and the person you were with took this wheelbarrow and its contents from a work site or something similar and in your drunken state you thought it was funny. Sadly, it wasn’t.

“Things took a turn for the worse because when members of the public had become alarmed and police were called you bit the hand of one of the officers. Fortunately, for that officer and, indeed, you, you did not break the skin and no visible injury was left.”

Wojciechowska’s brief, David Scutt, told the court: “I take nothing away from the seriousness of the offence but shopping trolleys and that sort of thing spring to mind.”

READ MORE: Suspended sentence for woman caught riding in wheelbarrow with axe

'It is understandable in his interview he said he feared for his life'

A three-strong gang that robbed a taxi driver of £60 at knifepoint left their victim in fear of his life.

Jordan Collins, Landen McCarthy and Mitchell Rhodes were jailed for a total of almost 16 years at Swindon Crown Court after the robbery in Broadgreen on March 1 last year.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “You, Mr Rhodes, are of noticeably large stature and would undoubtedly be intimidating.

“Couple that with the aggression, the shouting and the menacing presence of Mr McCarthy – again, somebody who is very tall – blocking the means of escape it is bad enough.

“But when you reflect the fact the taxi driver was pulled back into his seat by you, Mr Rhodes, before holding a knife to his face, threatening to cut him up it is understandable in his [video] interview he said he feared for his life.” 

Swindon Advertiser:

Jordan Collins, Mitchell Rhodes and Landen McCarthy

READ MORE: Jail for gang that robbed Swindon taxi driver at knifepoint

'You're a danger to the people of Swindon' 

Joseph McLaughlin prompted an armed police call-out to the town centre - after he was spotted waving around an air rifle the weekend before Christmas. 

He was initially given a suspended sentence - then jailed a few days later after he threatened a security guard. 

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District Judge Joanna Dickens didn't mince her words, telling the 31-year-old: “You are a massive danger to the people of Swindon and yourself. You go around with guns who knows what they are – turns out they’re air weapons, but you don’t know that. Absolutely terrifying for members of the public in shops.”

READ MORE: Drunk caught with air rifle said 'I'll shoot someone'

'You are more than a mere nuisance'

An octogenarian paedophile who played with himself in front of young girls was torn into by a Swindon judge.

Peter Kis, whose history of abusing women and girls dates back to the mid-1960s, was jailed for two years and ordering to serve an extra three years on licence after the latest offences in June – committed less than two months after he was released from his last jail sentence.

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Peter Kis's custody shot

Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “Many people may have thought that being 88 would have stopped you committing this offence, especially when you were on licence. They would have been wrong.”

Sentencing the man, he added: “Mr Ross has described you as a sexual pest but you are much more than that. Each of your actions involved a victim and your entrenched sexual deviance is more than merely being a nuisance.”

Kis, who at points during the hearing at Swindon Crown Court last summer walked up close to the camera to better hear proceedings and also held his head in his hands, was said to have an “evident lack of understanding and insight” of the effect of his behaviour on his victims.

The judge said of the impact of Kis’s crimes: “Memory can be long lasting and experience of these courts often shows that closure can be an elusive concept.”

READ MORE: Jail for pervert who 'played' with himself in front of girls

'Speeding - it's like firing shots in a shopping centre'

A former courier caught doing 107mph down the M4 - while drunk - was torn into by the district judge. 

Brendo Novacki was given an 18 month community order and banned from the roads for two years.

District Judge Joanna Dickens said: “Driving along the motorway at 107mph is a bit like firing shots in a shopping centre. You hope no one’s going to get killed. The truth is someone’s going to get killed at that speed. So, it’s incredibly serious.”

She added: “This is a really serious situation you are in today.

“You were driving 40 miles above the speed limit and that’s an incredibly serious risk to other road users. You are lucky that people are not dead.

“You were drunk as well. That’s just so dangerous. It’s terrifying, even, to think about it.”

READ MORE: Judge lays into driver caught doing 107mph down M4