Son threatens to torch mum’s house

PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 June 2011

Archant

A 22-YEAR-OLD man assaulted his mum and threatened to burn her house down after she told him he had drank too much alcohol.

Ben Woodland had knocked back 15 to 20 pints of lager while he was having a meal in Weston with his mum Alison Thiel on May 3.

The kebab shop worker, who lived with his mum in Alfred Court at the time of the incident, appeared for sentencing at North Somerset Courthouse last Thursday.

Gemma Kneebone, prosecuting, told magistrates that Woodland and his mum went for drinks in town and after a few hours she suggested he go home because he had had enough to drink.

She added: “Ms Thiel also left. When she returned home at the time the defendant wasn’t at the property but when he did an argument began.

“The defendant pushed her over onto the floor backwards knocking over a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a vase of flowers.

“The defendant left the property and he later telephoned her and said ‘I’m going to burn the house down.’”

The court heard Ms Thiel rang the police and they arrested Woodland who admitted he had drank 15 to 20 pints of lager.

He admitted arguing with his mum, pushing her over and he told police that he picked up a Dyson and threw it towards her but he didn’t know if it had hit her.

Gareth Needs, in mitigation, said: “He accepts he drank too much and an argument happened, in essence, over the fact he drank too much.”

Mr Needs said although Woodland told police he threw the Dyson at her, he believed he was still under the influence of alcohol during the interview.

The court heard in retrospect Woodland thought he just pushed the vacuum cleaner out of the way – which Mr Needs said tied in with the witness statement given by Ms Thiel.

Magistrates were told that Woodland suffers from depression and was drinking too much at the time of the incident.

Mr Needs said his client had not touched a drop of alcohol since he pleaded guilty to assault by beating in early March, and his mother wrote a ‘heartfelt letter’ to magistrates showing her support.

Woodland, who gave his address as Beadon Road in Taunton, was handed a six-month community order with a supervision requirement and was ordered to pay £85 costs.

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