Devon

Jail for Exeter Cathedral green assault on clergyman

Exeter Cathedral
Image caption The incident happened last August when many families were using the cathedral green

A woman who assaulted a clergyman after he asked her to stop swearing on cathedral grounds has been jailed.

Sharon Thornton, 39, appeared via video-link from Eastwood Park Prison, Gloucestershire, to be sentenced at Exeter Magistrates' Court.

She hit Canon Carl Turner, breaking his glasses and phone when he asked her and a friend to be quiet, the court heard.

Thornton, who admitted offences at an earlier hearing, was jailed for 18 weeks for assault and criminal damage.

'Lashed out'

The court heard Thornton had been drinking, shouting and swearing with a male companion in front of several families on the cathedral's green last August when Canon Turner went over to them.

Mark Haddow, for the prosecution, said: "The victim was a reverend and had been constantly interrupted from his work by swearing and shouting, so he went over to speak to them.

"Thornton got up and went towards the victim. She took him quite by surprise and hit him to the face.

"He wanted to film the assault on his phone for evidential reasons. She lashed out at him."

The court heard that the canon's phone was also smashed as he attempted to capture the incident on video.

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