Berkhamsted alcoholic jailed for rampage in Cow Roast Inn

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AN ALCOHOLIC who attacked a pub landlord, smashing up glasses and pool cues and using racist abuse, has been jailed for seven months.

Bald headed John Dell, 51, claimed he was ‘trained to kill’ as he attacked landlord Lyndon Bedford at the Cow Roast Inn, St Albans Crown Court was told on Tuesday.

He had flown into a rage when Mr Bedford spoke to him because he was frightening a young teenage boy he was playing pool against.

Simon Wilshire, prosecuting, said: “He was in the pool room talking about his time in prison. A young teenager was playing and the defendant made comments trying to put off the people playing.

“The teenager played Mr Dell who was saying things like: ‘I was in the army. I have killed lots of people. I have shot Taliban right in the head.”

The boy became frightened and told Mr Bedford, but when the landlord went to speak to Dell he smashed a pool cue on the table.

Mr Wilshire said: “Mr Bedford was kicked, kneed and punched. Mr Dell broke half a dozen pool cues, brandished a chair and smashed glasses.”

He also swore and used racist insults, the court heard.

The police were called and Dell struggled, damaging the head rest of the police car seat.

He was put in a police cell and smeared excrement on the wall, said Mr Wilshire.

When questioned by officers he made no comment.

Dell of Springfield, Gossoms End, Berkhamsted pleaded guilty to common assault, racially aggravated harassment, two charges of criminal damage and obstructing a constable.

He had 15 convictions for 55 offences, and he was in breach of a two month suspended jail sentence imposed in March last year for damaging property and possessing an offensive weapon.

Dell had smashed up a table with an axe at the Lamb pub in Berkhamsted in July 2010 and had been given the suspended sentence.

He was ordered to carry out 40 hours’ unpaid work after breaching that sentence on December 6 last year after a disturbance in the Nationwide Building Society when he swore at a cashier and a woman customer who had told him to calm down when he could not get money out.

Nermine Abdel Sayed, defending, said Dell had served 14 months of the suspended sentence and had co-operated on an anger replacement therapy programme and a Thinking Skills course.

The judge, Recorder Leslie Cuthbert, said: “He may have co-operated but it hasn’t done much good.”

Ms Sayed said Dell expressed “regret and remorse” and apologised in open court for letting people down who had tried to help him.

She said he was an alcoholic who had been sober for 16 months before going to the pub in Tring.

On that night he had been upset that he had been unable to see his daughter.

She said his offending had only started at the age of 42 when he had lost his job and his marriage had broken down.

When he is released from custody she said he had a job working for a firm that trains HGV drivers.

Jailing him, Recorder Cuthbert said he had behaved “like a lout and a yob.” He ordered him to pay £150 compensation.