Drainpipe climber in trouble with police

A SCAFFOLDER’S bid for a bed for the night, dented when he fell from a drainpipe he was climbing, brought him a visit to a police cell instead.

The incident had a sequel in court last Thursday when Oliver Thomas Withrow, 23, appeared before Harrogate magistrates to plead guilty to resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said Withrow, of Stanhope Drive, Harrogate, had been arrested in the early hours of August 28 after police had been told of a man attempting to climb through a window at a property in Willow Grove, Bilton.

Mr Butterworth said officers attended the scene but the culprit, Withrow, had moved on. But they caught up with him soon after and when asked what he had been doing he confessed that he had tried to get into a friend’s house by climbing up a drainpipe.

Police, suspicious that a burglary might have taken place, decided to detain Withrow while they inquired further into the incident. But they could find no-one in at the property concerned.

Withrow had then sworn at one officer and attempted to pull away from him and even when colleagues joined in he continued to struggle, thrashing about and trying to break free. Eventually Parva spray was used to Withrow’s face but even then his abuse continued.

Mr Butterworth, who said no evidence had been found of a burglary, told the court Withrow had made a number of previous appearances, the last one in 2009 when he was convicted of a similar offence.

In mitigation Carolyn O’Mahony said Withrow’s unenviable record had ended two years ago meaning there had been a significant gap up to his present offence which had been committed out of ‘‘sheer disbelief and frustration’’ at the way police dealt with him.

He had been on the town with friends and had made his way to the home of one friend where he was staying. But there had been no answer to his knocking before the friend had leaned from a window and told him he was locked in his room and he would have to climb up to get in.

Miss O’Mahony said as Withrow ascended a drainpipe he fell off. So he shouted to his friend that he was going off to spend the night with his brother.

On his way there he was arrested on suspicion of burglary but could not understand why, after telling officers his friend had told him to clamber up the pipe. And police had declined Withrow’s suggestion that they should go back to the house and ascertain the full story.

Withrow was fined £150 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.