Homeless man jailed for threatening to burn down the Freedom Centre
- Credit: Archant
A man who threatened to burn down the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple when he was refused a place for the night has been jailed for 30 weeks.
Adam Peard was given the chance to go on a 'thinking skills' course rather than go to prison but told probation staff that he was too busy 'doing his stuff'.
The 37-year-old was homeless and threatened to burn down the night shelter when he was told they did not have a bed for him in January this year.
He ranted at manager Andrew Gammon that he was going to kill him and threatened to 'burn this f***ing place down'.
Peard, of Stucley Road, Bideford, admitted two offences of affray, assaulting an emergency worker, and criminal damage when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court in February this year.
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He was given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to complete a thinking skills programme and 30 days of probation supervision.
He was brought back to court after missing a string of appointments with probation and jailed for 30 weeks by Judge Peter Johnson.
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He told him he had no option but to implement the sentence because Peard had either failed to turn up at probation or had done so when he appeared to be drunk.
He said:"You told the probation service you would not attend one appointment a week because that would not give you time to do your own stuff.
"You were given one more chance and told there must be complete compliance. Unhappily, you did not take that chance."
Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said the probation service had done its best to work with Peard but lost contact with him when he moved away from North Devon without notifying a new address.
He has a long lost of convictions for 127 offences and was jailed for arson in 2013 when he set light to curtains in a flat in Exeter after a dispute with social workers.
Felicity Payne, defending, said Peard is still keen to work with probation and remains a good prospect for rehabilitation.
She said he would benefit from the thinking skills course because he accepts that he can over react to stressful situations.
During the case in February, the court heard how Peard lost his temper after being woken at the Freedom Centre on January 5 and told he would not be able to stay there again the next night.
He threatened to burn down the shelter and broke a door panel with his foot on his way out. He went back nine days later and threatened a receptionist. He also assaulted a police officer at the custody centre after being arrested.