Driver forced warden to eat parking ticket after being fined

News

A man who forced a ticket into a parking warden’s mouth and made him eat it has been jailed for 23 months.

In a bizarre series of crimes spread over two months, Alex Owers, 40, also drove to a petrol station, licked a protective screen separating him from cashiers, downed a miniature bottle of wine and coughed in a police officer’s face.

Hull Crown Court heard Owers attacked the parking warden after being issued a fine for parking illegally outside a café in Bridlington, east Yorkshire.

The court was told that when he was confronted by an ‘angry’ Owers, the parking warden tried to walk away but was set upon.

Prosecutor Sue Evans said: ‘He [Owers] got him in a headlock and said, “Eat it now, you can have it”.

‘He tried to force the ticket into his mouth and caused his gums to bleed. The civil servant tried to press his panic alarm but Owers stamped on his mobile phone and kicked him.’

Several members of the public tried to intervene, some even taking photos of Owers, but he pushed one man against his own car in front of his terrified children.

Owers was not arrested at the time, and was later identified from photographs, but his spree did not end there.

On March 29, during the coronavirus lockdown, Owers made his way to a petrol station in Willerby after he had been drinking.

Miss Evans told the court that despite being told several times by staff members that he would not be served after he pressed his face against a protective plastic screen, Owers continued to do so and even
licked it.

The prosecutor told the court: ‘He told them to “f*** off” and that there were no signs not to touch, but they pointed them out.

‘He started eating a sandwich and dank a bottle of miniature wine. When he was arrested he agreed to pay for those items.’

The court heard that at the time, Owers was three times over the legal driving limit and had in his system 102mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

During his time in the custody suite, Owers’ crimes continued. Miss Evans told the court that he became ‘argumentative’ and ‘said he had not done anything wrong.’

When asked by officers if he knew about the Covid-19 outbreak, he said ‘yes’.

He added that he had ‘been to France and Italy, had a cough and was feverish’. The court heard that Owers then proceeded to cough in a police officer’s face.

Miss Evans said: ‘The officer felt droplets of Mr Owers’ saliva on his face. ‘He was left worried and distressed about his health, and this continued for the next 14 days.’

In a statement read to the court, a member of staff from the petrol station said: ‘This was very frightening. We are already under a lot of pressure and stress and things like this make our jobs so much
harder.

‘We are already concerned for our health. We was worried about what he was going to do next. You don’t expect to be abused and sworn at while we are trying to do our jobs.’

The court heard that by carrying out the offences, Owers was in breach of a suspended sentence he was handed in October last year for wounding.

He also has previous convictions for assaulting an emergency worker and two racially aggravated public order offences.

Defending Owers, Mark Savage told the court that he is a dad-of-three, who since being in custody has got the better of an alcohol and gambling addiction.

Jailing him for 23 months, Judge Nadim told Owers: ‘Civil service workers in the form of parking wardens will be protected by the courts as are the police who are doing a very difficult job in very difficult circumstances.

‘The message needs to be loud and clear that this sort of conduct won’t be tolerated by this court.’