Cafe owner left fear­ing for his busi­ness af­ter threats

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS -

A LLANELLI cafe owner was left fear­ing for his busi­ness af­ter a man threat­ened to smash the win­dows and burn it down.

Christo­pher James, of Princess Street, Llanelli, pleaded guilty to a charge of mak­ing a threat to cause dam­age and de­stroy prop­erty when he ap­peared at Llanelli Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Prosecutor Sian Vaughan said James had been at the Wil­low Cafe in Sta­tion Road on March 6, when it was dis­puted he took a condi­ment sa­chet from the cafe.

She added when a mem­ber of staff quizzed him about swip­ing a sa­chet James al­leged he hit his leg.

Less than two hours later wit­nesses could hear James, aged 40, telling peo­ple he was go­ing to break win­dows and set fire to the cafe, which be­longs to Adem Oz­men.

Mrs Vaughan added: “The de­fen­dant called po­lice to say he had been as­saulted by a mem­ber of staff at the cafe.

“At 8.45am James was heard say­ing he was go­ing to smash win­dows and burn the shop down, re­fer­ring to the cafe.”

At 9.30am at the rear of the cafe a staff mem­ber was sat on the back step and could hear James telling two builders of his in­ten­tion to break the win­dows and set fire to the prop­erty.

Mrs Vaughan said: “At this point he asked the staff mem­ber if where she was sat was the way into the back of the cafe.

“She said yes and was then wor­ried about what he would do, es­pe­cially with col­leagues and friends in­side.

“Po­lice were called and fol­low­ing his ar­rest, he told them in in­ter­view that he said what he did in anger and not mal­ice.

For the of­fence, James was given 16-week prison sen­tence, sus­pended for 12 months and must carry out 35 days of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

He was also placed on a 12-week cur­few and must re­main at his home be­tween the hours of 9pm and 6am.

James must also pay £115 vic­tim sur­charge and £85 court costs.

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