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7th Jul, 2022

Charity worker escapes jail sentence after chasing ex-partner through town centre with kitchen knife

A RESPECTABLE charity worker chased a man down the street with a knife in Stratford town centre – because she believed he had stolen money from her home.

But although Sharon Agar-Hutty’s victim was described as having minor stab wounds to his chest and hand, he refused to co-operate with the police or allow access to his medical records.

Despite that, she was facing a mandatory immediate jail term of at least six-months after pleading guilty to threatening with a blade – ‘unless it would be unjust to do so.’

But after hearing of her previous ‘exemplary character,’ a judge at Warwick Crown Court was ‘just persuaded’ that an immediate sentence was not appropriate.

Instead the 52-year-old of Mordaunt Road, Wellesbourne, was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to take part in rehabilitation activity.

The court heard the incident took place last July in Arden Street, where there was an argument between Agar-Hutty and Christopher Parry.

Prosecutor Ian Windridge said witnesses say Agar-Hutty had been chasing Mr Parry holding a kitchen knife, and there was then an argument during which she had lunged towards him.

But Mr Windridge pointed out Mr Parry would not co-operate with the police, had not made any complaint and refused to allow access to his medical records.

So Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed the prosecution therefore could not say Agar-Hutty caused the injuries.

Following her arrest, Agar-Hutty explained she had had a relationship with Mr Parry and, although it had ended, he had visited her home that week.

She had been given £380 in cash to cover the cost of a repair to her car – but the money had disappeared from her home, and she believed Mr Parry had taken it.

“She told the police she got really angry and upset, and decided to go to look for him to get the money back. She knew he would not admit it, so she took the knife to make him scared.

“She drove to Stratford and saw him in Arden Street. He came over, and she got the knife and got out of the car.

“She put the knife out in front of her to scare him while grabbing at his bag with her other hand as he was trying to get the knife off her, and there was a tussle. She said she did not lunge at him. She accepted she was wrong to take the knife out.”

Jonathan Coode, defending, said: “We are dealing with a 52-year-old charity worker of previous good character. I would ask you to consider whether this is an exceptional case.”

He pointed out the conviction meant Agar-Hutty might no longer be able to continue the work she did with two or three charities, but stressed if jailed prison, there was no chance at all of her keeping any of her work.

Sentencing Agar-Hutty, Judge de Bertodano told her: “If you take a knife to an argument to frighten someone, you take a very serious risk of injuring them much, much more seriously than you ever intended to.

“You are a woman of good character, you have spent your adult life giving up your time volunteering as a charity worker. You are of exemplary good character in every other respect. I am persuaded, just, that an immediate sentence is not appropriate.”

 

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