A Whitehaven man has been given a prison sentence for a spate of offending which included arson and also stealing his ex-partner’s dog during a burglary at her home.
Daniel Rafferty, 35, was punished at Carlisle Crown Court this morning for three sets of crimes committed in July and September last year.
On July 16, a police sergeant saw Rafferty swinging a four-foot long 3×2 piece of wood and striking out at plant pots in a Whitehaven town centre street at around 1-45am.
Rafferty refused to drop the wood, which he raised to shoulder height and used to threaten the officer. It was only after the sergeant used incapacitant spray that the item was dropped and Rafferty arrested.
On 23rd September, Rafferty turned up at his ex-partner’s Whitehaven home smelling of alcohol. After she closed the door on him, he hung around outside despite warnings from the woman that she would call police.
After the woman took children to her mother’s address, she returned to find a previously secure living room window was open. She went inside and noted her dog had been stolen by Rafferty after he gained illegal entry.
A short time later Rafferty was seen with the pet — which was returned to the woman — and he was again arrested. At the police station he spat at an officer and damaged a safety suit.
Finally, on 26th September, Rafferty set fire to a wheelie bin in his home town before confessing what he had done to police.
When brought to court he admitted possessing an offensive weapon, two emergency worker assaults, burglary, arson and damaging property. A defence solicitor said the latter fire-starting crime had been a “cry for help” and that Rafferty was “clearly not coping” at the time.
Rafferty, of Meadow Road, Mirehouse, Whitehaven, had been in custody on remand since late September. Passing sentence for what he called a “pattern of offences”, Recorder Julian Shaw imposed a 55-week total prison term and banned Rafferty from contacting his former partner in any way for three years.
Recorder Shaw said of Rafferty’s offending against police: “Emergency workers, particularly police officers, are entitled to be protected from this kind of unpleasant assault.”