It’s been a quiet month at Reading Crown Court due to the barrister strikes taking place. 

Defence lawyers have been taking part in industrial action since the middle of the summer. 

This impacted cases at Reading Crown Court as it meant many sentencings did not go ahead due to the lack of representation for defendants. 

Here are details of the few cases that did go ahead. 

The daughter who spent her mum’s money

Catherine Richardson, of Pottery Close, Fairford Leys, Bucks, was locked up this month after spending money meant for her mother’s care home costs on herself between 2014 and 2018. 

The 56-year-old’s mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2009 and was placed at River View care home in Tilehurst, Reading, in 2012. 

Her home was sold for £140,000 in 2014 to pay for her care at River View and Richardson was legally made responsible for these funds. 

But in 2016 Richardson told Reading Borough Council she was running out of funds despite an estimation that the money should have lasted until late 2018. 

A review of the bank account showed spending on multiple purchases not related to the care of Richardson's mother, who died in 2020.

This included: 

  • Subscriptions to dating websites
  • Tickets to Reading FC matches
  • A new conservatory
  • More than a hundred cash withdrawals, including some in Spain

In total, Reading Crown Court heard how Richardson’s spending on herself totalled £25,000. 

His Honour Judge Hassan Khan laid into Richardson for her behaviour. 

He said: “You placed your mother’s care in serious jeopardy.”

Richardson, who has worked as a carer for 22 years, and who claimed to regularly win ‘carer of the month’ at her place of work, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for one count of fraud. 

She was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Monday, August 8. 

The dangerous driver who ruined a pensioner’s retirement

A pensioner who was enjoying his retirement will never walk again after a boy-racer who had been speeding at 114mph hit the 79-year-old in a ‘deliberate piece of bad driving.’

Jamie Doe, of Ansell Road, Frimley, was today locked up after leaving Kenneth Barnett, 79, in a coma for five weeks. 

During this time, his wife Maureen was twice told doctors were considering halting his treatment as he was not responding to it. 

Thankfully, the 79-year-old former British Airways employee recovered but he was only discharged from a rehabilitation centre last week - almost a year after the collision.

But the man said he now ‘feels lost’ and is ‘unsure what the future holds’ after his independence was snatched away from him. 

Despite claiming to be ‘full of remorse’, Jamie Doe continued to post pictures of the blue Ford Fiesta involved in the incident on Facebook in the months after the ‘devastating’ incident.

“This was a deliberate piece of bad driving and the consequences are devastating”, Judge Nawaz said.

Doe was sentenced to 27 months in prison for causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, August 9. 

He was banned from driving for 49 months.

The drug dealer in possession of a firearm

Reading Chronicle:

A 19-year-old drug dealer will spend seven years in prison for supplying heroin and crack and possessing a firearm.

A police investigation identified Nikodem Jozefow, of Station Road, Hayes, London, as the controller of a county drugs line operating between Hayes, London, and Slough.

Jozefow pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on August 9 to two counts of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, one count each of possession of a firearm, and possession of heroin and cannabis.

Drugs Focus Taskforce lead Detective Inspector Simon Hannam said: “The Drugs Focus Taskforce was set up at the end of last year to target county drugs lines across the Thames Valley and has already disrupted criminals operating in Reading, Slough and Milton Keynes.

“We will tirelessly pursue anyone involved in county drugs lines as they exploit vulnerable people and cause serious harm within our communities.

“We will bring those involved in this illegal activity to justice, as proven by Jozefow’s conviction and sentence.

“We are also committed to protecting those vulnerable people exploited by county drug-dealers by providing the appropriate support.

After Jozefow was arrested last year, Thames Valley Police officers searched his address and found a firearm.

Another warrant was executed at Jozefow’s address in January 2022, where officers found the drugs line operation and he was arrested again.

Jozefow was charged on 12 January this year.

The sexual predator who followed a woman home

Reading Chronicle:

A Bracknell man followed a drunk woman home before kidnapping her and sexually assaulting her in the woods. 

Andrew Custos, of Wroxham, was locked up after ‘stalking’ the mother near home at Booker Common on February 26, 2022. 

The 30-year-old father had been driving his white Mercedes around Marlow town centre at 2am when he spotted the woman, who appeared ‘unsteady’, getting into a tax from outside The Ship pub.

Custos followed the taxi 3.5 miles and through a red light to its destination, where the woman got out at the end of her road. 

She walked back to her house and noticed Custos was following her so she kept walking past her home until she got to the end of the street. 

Prosecutor Mr Brown said: “He effectively stalked her on her way home.”

It was as the woman turned back that Custos grabbed her and said ‘come on, you know you want it.’

She tried to fight him off for several minutes but Custos picked her up and carried her into the woods near Booker Common at 2.22am, CCTV showed. 

While in the woods, Custos touched her bottom and kissed her, before he ‘came to his senses’ and ran out at 2.29am. 

Custos, a HGV driver, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for sexual assault and committing an offence with the intention to commit sexual assault. 

He will sign the sex offenders register for life and he was barred from contacting the victim directly or indirectly for ten years. 

Custos was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, August 12. 

The boyfriend who smeared poo on his partner’s door

Jilted Jermaine Hunter was spared jail after weeks of the harassment of his partner ‘culminated in the most disgusting act.’

The personal trainer, of Liverpool Road, London, was dumped in September 2021 by his Reading-based girlfriend.

This caused the 40-year-old to send her a string of text messages over several days, which included threats. 

Messages read: ‘You’re going to get what’s coming to you’, ‘you’ve messed with the wrong person’ and ‘my Dad was a gangster, he was murdered.’

On October 2, 2021, the woman accidentally called Hunter but they did not speak. 

This prompted the London man to call her back 14 times before he forced his way into her building of residence on Charles Street. 

As she returned to the address from a party in the early hours of October 3, she noticed faeces had been smeared on the door’s handle and door knocker. 

Later that morning, Hunter spoke to neighbours about the mess on his partner’s door and said ‘who would do something like this?’, ‘the person who did this should be punished’ and he urged them to check CCTV.

Hunter later banged on his partner’s door and pleaded with her to let him in as he ‘needed help’, but she kept ‘completely silent’ as she was scared, prosecutor Sarita Basra said. 

The woman’s landlord had to clean the faeces off the door with gloves at a time in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The cleaning operation cost him £300. 

His Honour Judge Hassan Khan said Hunter took the rejection ‘badly’ and “this all culminated in the most disgusting act when you covered her front in your own faces.”

Hunter was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered not to contact his former partner via a restraining order.

He was ordered to take part in 20 days of rehabilitation activities and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. 

The London man must also pay £300 in compensation to the landlord and £525 in court costs. 

Hunter was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, August 19.

The seasoned offender who tried to rob a kebab store

Reading Chronicle:

A ‘seasoned offender’ tried to steal a cash till from a popular kebab shop but was bravely stopped by the store’s managers and passers-by. 

Serial thief Paul Hutton, of Erleigh Road, was jailed for multiple offences including criminal damage, theft, assault, possession of class A drugs and more. 

The majority of his four-year sentence, however, came from his attempted burglary of Ye Babam Ye on London Road, Reading, at 4.30 am on July 14, 2021. 

Hutton, 42, was wearing all black, a facemask, socks on his shoes and had a screwdriver in his backpack when he broke into the kebab shop. 

He had selected this store after trying to break into Golden Tanning on the same road just minutes earlier. 

After throwing a rock through Ye Babam Ye’s door, Hutton gained access and set about removing the till. 

The noise woke up the store’s managers, who lived upstairs, and they confronted Hutton. 

One of them was pushed by Hutton and fell to the floor, but the other manager and a passerby managed to restrain him until police arrived. 

In a victim statement read by prosecutor Matthew Knight, the manager who was assaulted said the incident was ‘frightening’ and that it cost him more than just the £480 damage to the door as the restaurant had to close for a short time. 

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, August 23. 

The thief who hurled racist abuse at police officers

A racist thief told a police officer he was a terrorist sympathiser and asked him to ‘go home’ after being caught stealing in Sainsbury’s. 

Philip Bryant, of Rambler Lane, Slough was jailed after launching his tirade - which also included homophobic slurs - last year. 

The outbursts came when the 62-year-old was caught wheeling a trolley full of items he had not paid for out of a Sainsbury’s store in Slough on October 1, 2021. 

Bryant was confronted by two employees, including a manager, and started spitting at them. 

He called them ‘p****’ and police were called when Bryant did not calm down. 

When officers arrived, Bryant grabbed one of them by the testicles and directed racial and homophobic slurs at them. 

He was arrested and placed in the back of a police van with a spit hood over his head. 

On the way to Maidenhead police station, Bryant continued to yell homophobic slurs at the officers. 

He also asked one of them: ‘Why don’t you go back to your home in Helmand?’ and claimed the police officer was a supporter of late terrorist Osama Bin Laden. 

Bryant refused to come out of his cell and answer questions once he was detained.

Reading Crown Court heard a victim statement from one of the police officers racially abused, who said he had ‘never been treated like this before’ and he was ‘very shocked by the way the defendant abused him.’

His Honour Judge Nawaz said Bryant’s criminal past stretched back to 1971 and that he has 54 previous convictions for 116 offences. 

Sentencing, the judge handed a 49-week prison sentence for two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, one count of assault, one count of racially aggravated assault, three counts of racially aggravated harassment and two counts of harassment.

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, August 23. 

The thief who hid drugs in his bottom

A serial offender who hid drugs in his bum has been jailed after stealing an expensive jacket from John Lewis. 

David Connor, of London Road, Reading, breached a suspended sentence order he received in July 2021. 

He was handed a 24 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months after being carrying out a drug deal in Wokingham. 

The 36-year-old was apprehended and searched by police officers, who found a plug against his anus containing dozens of wraps of cocaine and heroin. 

Fast forward nine months and Connor was caught stealing a Barbour jacket worth £200 in John Lewis, Reading, prosecutor Michael Bisgrove said. 

This was a breach of his suspended sentence as a condition of his order was not to reoffend. 

His Honour Judge Nawaz, sentencing, told Connor: “You again let yourself down.”

Connor was told to serve 26 weeks of his suspended sentence, with an additional week for the theft of the jacket, 

He appeared at Reading Crown Court from custody on Wednesday, August 24.