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Street drinker's suicide threat at hostel
A HOMELESS street drinker tied a cord around his neck and threatened to hang himself at a Worcester hostel then assaulted the police officer who tried to save his life.
Peter Swinbourne, aged 40, of no fixed address, admitted breaching the terms of his anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) by making threats to harm himself and assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duties when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester.
The incident happened at St Paul’s Hostel in Tallow Hill on Monday, October 1, putting Swinbourne in breach of the Asbo made in April 2010.
The court was told that Swinbourne had only been free from prison for a few hours when a disturbance was reported at the hostel at about 8.30pm.
Adrian Jones, prosecuting, said hostel worker Barbara Kelly reported that Swinbourne had a black cord with him and said he was going to hang himself and appeared drunk.
Mr Jones said: “She was alarmed and distressed he might go through with it.
“She says he went to the stair rail and then began tying the cord to the stair rail and then around his neck.”
Hostel staff called police and a PC and special constable arrived at which point Swinbourne lunged at the officer who was trying to remove the cord from his neck, connecting with the officer’s upper chest.
Mr Jones said although the assault caused the officer to stagger he was uninjured.
At the police station Swinbourne was said by officers to display variable behaviour, alternating between expressions of remorse, depression and aggression.
Paul Stanley, defending, said Swinbourne had only served 10 days of a 20-day sentence when he was released. He said: “He’s at an extremely low ebb at the moment. I think it was a cry for help, whether to get the authorities involved or not, I don’t know.”
Magistrates gave Swinbourne a community order for six months to include an alcohol treatment programme. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.