Lincoln Crown Court

Prisoner threatened to kill victim of assault for which he was jailed

A man who was jailed for slashing his neighbour with a knife later threatened to kill his victim when on his release from prison, Lincoln Crown Court was told this week.


Shaun Smith made the threat during a meeting in Lincoln Prison to discuss arrangements for his release at the end of his 12 month jail sentence.


Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, told a jury that Smith appeared agitated and upset when he arrived at the meeting in December last year.


Smith then began making threats that he wanted to kill John Muffett, the neighbour who was the victim of the assault that led to Smith being jailed.


Mr Gimson said “He was talking and shouting about Mr Muffett. He said he wanted to kill him and said he wanted to kill him within three or four days of his release.”


Probation officer Helen Sackfield, who was present at the meeting with Muffett, told the court “He said he wanted to kill Mr Muffett on his release. He said he didn’t care if he went to prison for killing him.”


Smith (38) of Hereward Road, Spalding, was not present at the hearing after he was ruled to be unfit to plead to a charge of making a threat to kill John Muffett on 12 December 2016.


No evidence was called on his behalf and his defence team did not challenge the prosecution evidence during the short trial.


The jury subsequently delivered a verdict that Smith committed the act he was accused of. Judge Michael Heath adjourned sentence until August 16.


Smith was originally jailed in October last year after admitting assaulting John Muffett causing him actual bodily harm and possession of a knife in a public place as a result of an incident on July 18 2016.


At the October hearing, which was also before Lincoln Crown Court, Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Smith began shouting outside the home of his neighbour John Muffett in Hereward Road, Spalding.


Mr Scott said “Mr Muffett was at home in his bedroom when all of a sudden he heard his name being shouted outside. He got up and looked out and saw that it was the defendant.”


Mr Muffett went outside and Smith approached and took a swing at him. Mr Muffett picked up a piece of wood to defend himself and there was a wrestling match between them which left Mr Muffet with a number of cuts to his fingers.


The incident ended when Smith returned to his home and barricaded himself in when police arrived.


Mr Scott said “Eventually he did appear at the doorway. He was compliant and was arrested.”


James Gray, in mitigation, told the October hearing that Smith suffers from mental health problems including paranoid schizophrenia and is currently receiving treatment.

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