Defendant ‘shook his head like a dog’ as he bit officer

- Advertisement -

A VIOLENT criminal – who hurled abuse at the Jurats before storming out of court during his sentencing for attacking a couple in their own home and leaving them terrified – has been jailed for 5½ years.

Shawn Le Lay (51) also smashed the couple’s furniture and later bit the police officer who arrested him in the leg.

Shawn Le Lay (51)

After a five-day trial in June, a jury unanimously found Le Lay guilty of three counts of grave and criminal assault and one of malicious damage.

Yesterday, the Superior Number of the Royal Court – which convenes only for the most serious cases – sent him to prison and also imposed an indefinite restraining order, preventing him from ever contacting the victims.

The start of yesterday’s hearing was delayed after Le Lay claimed that four of the Jurats were biased against them. When his objection was dismissed he swore at the Jurats and stormed out of court, and was returned to prison.

He later appeared via video link from La Moye but after repeatedly interrupting proceedings the link was switched off.

The offences happened on the afternoon of 6 August last year. Crown Advocate Simon Thomas, prosecuting, said the victims had been left psychologically damaged by their ordeal – unable to sleep and fearful to go out.

He said Le Lay had gone to speak to the caretaker of the flats where he lived, and, in the course of an argument, he had turned violent.

Advocate Thomas said: ‘The defendant punched the caretaker on the left side of his head. The caretaker took a riding whip he had and hit the defendant over the shoulder with it.’

Le Lay pushed him onto the sofa, snatched the riding whip and hit him with it. When the caretaker’s wife tried to intervene, the Crown Advocate said, Le Lay assaulted her too.

‘He strangled her and tried to bite her hand. He put his hands on either side of her head and twisted it. She thought she was going to die at this stage,’ the Crown Advocate said.

Le Lay pulled over a chest of drawers and smashed a chair before the couple finally got him out of their flat and called the police.

At the police station Le Lay bit the officer who arrested him. ‘The defendant bit his shin very forcefully. He shook his head like a dog,’ Advocate Thomas said.

The Crown Advocate said none of the physical injuries were permanent but the caretaker and his wife had suffered psychologically. He said their relationship had come under strain and both suffered nightmares and disturbed sleep.

He added that Le Lay had a string of previous convictions for violence which showed ‘a prolonged pattern of regular offending, escalating in severity’.

He said he was particularly violent towards authority figures such as police and prison officers, and added ‘biting often features in such assaults’.

He suggested a sentence of five years for the four offences combined.

Advocate David Steenson, defending, asked the court to delay sentencing until a psychiatric report was completed.

He accepted that Le Lay would be sent to prison both as a punishment and to protect the public, but said: ‘The medical evidence we have at the moment points to the idea that he would benefit from treatment, and by extension society would benefit.’

The Jurats decided that Le Lay should be jailed for 5½ years, owing to the severity of the attack on the caretaker’s wife.

But they accepted that Le Lay appeared to be on the autistic spectrum, and had a personality disorder characterised by ‘callous unconcern for the feelings of others’.

They ordered that reports should be prepared setting out whether he could be transferred to a mental-health facility.

Delivering the court’s sentence, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, presiding, said: ‘This was an intrusion into the safety of the home. They were effectively defenceless against a man of his size and physique.’

Afterwards Police Constable Sophie Dines added: ‘This incident truly terrified the married couple involved and they have shown a great deal of courage and respect seeing this through to a prosecution.

‘Police are there to protect the public but unfortunately in this case a colleague was assaulted in the execution of his duty. We hope that this sentence helps those involved get some form of closure on these nasty assaults.’

Jurats Collette Crill, Elizabeth Dulake, Steven Austin-Vautier, Pamela Pitman and Rozanne Thomas were sitting.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.