Harold Hill man’s night of romance ends in court

A Harold Hill man, whose night of romantic reconciliation with his on-off girlfriend ended in court, has been spared jail.

Benjamin Brickley, 23, admitted assaulting Lucy Candler, damaging a hotel they were due to stay the night in, and making an arson threat.

Instead, he was given a four month sentence suspended for 18 months by a judge at Chelmsford Crown Court and ordered to pay �405 in compensation and legal costs.

He was also ordered to attend a domestic abuse programme.

The court was told that after wining and dining Miss Candler, Brickley, of Matlock House, Dartfields, flew into a rage after she received a phone call from another man.

He then phoned another woman and threatened to burn her house down in revenge – believing the call to be her fault.

The court heard he assaulted Miss Candler and damaged a door and wine glass at the Travel Lodge Hotel where they were planning to spend the night.

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Brickley pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage, assault by beating Miss Candler, stealing her BlackBerry phone, and malicious communication.

Prosecutor Steve Butler said Miss Candler and Brickley had been in an “on-off” relationship which had come to an end three weeks earlier but had arranged to meet for lunch on August 23, in Chelmsford.

Mr Butler said: “He asked her to spend the night in a hotel and she agreed. They met at 6pm at the Travel Lodge and later in the room she received a phone call from a man asking to speak to him.

“He snatched the phone out of her hand and punched a hole in the bathroom door and he prevented her from leaving. He smashed a wine glass and during the incident the bathroom door hit her on the head and he pushed her onto the floor.”

Later, a report was received by the police about a phone call in which Brickley threatened to “burn down” Miss Hicks’ house.

Steve Sparks, mitigating, said Brickley had anger management issues which were “exacerbated by drink” and added that he “was very, very drunk” at the time.

However, he said that he had now enrolled on a course to address the problem.

Mr Sparks added that Brickley had suffered a “turbulent upbringing” and that he had expressed remorse for what happened.