Despite a backlog of cases brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 has already been a busy year for Hertfordshire’s courts.
There are plenty of criminals who will now be spending some considerable time behind bars.
Just this week, Debby Foxwell was sentenced to life in prison for brutally murdering her neighbour following an argument over a garden fence.
She joins another two residents who have received sentences of imprisonment since the turn of the year.
One was jailed for a number of offences including assault of a police officer, while another received more than five years behind bars for GBH.
Here are the criminals who have been jailed across the county in 2021.
20-year-old Williams-Campbell launched a frenzied attack on three police officers, biting, punching and scratching them.
St Albans Crown Court heard how in the early hours of Sunday, August 23 last year, a Sergeant and two Constables from Watford’s Intervention and Response Team stopped a silver Vauxhall Astra in Woodford Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, after they witnessed it driving without any headlights on.
Williams-Campbell, of Elm Road, Wembley, was in the front passenger seat but got out of the car and fled when he saw police.
The first Constable chased Williams-Campbell on foot and detained him on the floor.
However, the defendant punched the officer and bit his fingers before scratching the face of the second officer who had come to his colleague’s aid.
A Sergeant arrived on scene and swiftly handcuffed Williams-Campbell, but was pushed to the floor by the defendant as he tried to put him in the police car.
The assault caused him to hit his head on the kerb and fall unconscious for around ten seconds.
He went to hospital for treatment for suspected concussion and was released a few hours later.
Williams-Campbell was then searched at the scene and ten bags of cannabis were found in his possession.
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A Rambo-style knife with a blade between 10 and 14 inches long was also concealed in his trousers.
He had three mobile phones too, one of which was identified as being used in drug dealing.
Williams-Campbell was sentenced earlier this month to 17 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to:
- Assault on an emergency worker (two counts)
- Possessing a controlled drug of Class B with intent to supply (one count)
- Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) (one count)
- Possession of a bladed article in a public place (one count)
- Breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order (one count)
Read the full story here.
Sami Sarout, along with another man, was jailed after breaking into a flat which resulted in a boy getting stabbed and another man injured.
On the evening of November 18, 2019, Sami Sarout and Ali Mohammed forced their way into a property off Beechen Grove in Watford, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Once inside, Sarout produced a large knife and stabbed the first victim, a 16-year-old boy, twice in the arm.
This caused a deep laceration which required an operation to repair it under general anaesthetic.
Mohammed produced a kitchen knife before attempting to stab the second victim, a 20-year-old man, and a tussle ensued. This resulted in the victim suffering a laceration to his thumb as he tried to defend himself.
The court then heard that both victims managed to get away by running out onto the flat’s balcony and locking the door behind them. While there, they spotted a passing police car on the road below and shouted for help. They both made a full recovery after receiving medical treatment.
By the time police officers reached the flat, Sarout and Mohammed had already fled. They were both later arrested, charged and remanded in connection over the incident.
They were both found guilty of grievous bodily harm (GBH) at Detective Constable.
Sarout, 28, of no fixed address, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, January 26, and was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prisonafter previously being found guilty by jury of Section 18 GBH.
Mohammed, aged 21, previously of Milling Road, Edgware, had been sentenced last year. He appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, November 10 where he was jailed for two years and nine months after being found guilty of Section 20 GBH, robbery, perverting the course of justice and breach of a Community Protection Notice (CPN).
here George Lewin, from the Watford Local Crime Unit, said: “This was a challenging investigation but the jury deliberated for just one hour and 20 minutes before returning guilty verdicts for both defendants.
“At the time the offence was committed, Mohammed was subject to a Community Protection Notice (CPN), the terms of which stated he must not enter Watford.
“Instead he showed flagrant disregard for that notice and did not think twice about travelling to Watford with his accomplice Sarout in order to carry out this violent attack.
“I want this court result to serve as a warning to anyone who chooses to carry and use a knife in Watford. We will always pursue those who attempt to interfere with a police investigation. It will not be tolerated and you will be brought before the courts to explain your actions.”
Read the full story here.
A Welwyn Garden City woman who brutally murdered her neighbour with a spade following an argument over a garden fence has been jailed for life.
Debby Foxwell, of Fordwich Road, was sentenced on February 2 to a minimum of 21 years in prison after being found guilty of killing her neighbour, Louise Lotz.
Ms Lotz, a former councillor, sustained fatal head injuries outside her home on August 24, 2019, marking a tragic end to a bitter neighbourhood feud which had spanned a number of years.
Foxwell admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but this was rejected by a jury, who convicted her of murder last year.
She appeared over video link for her sentencing hearing at St Albans Crown Court on February 2.
In the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Alan Blake read parts of a statement from Ms Lotz’s son Peter, who described the impact of his mother’s murder.
Mr Blake said: “It speaks of his mother as he remembers her, her loves and passions of music and the arts and compassion that she showed to others and particularly other relatives, the progress he felt she was making around the time of her death and beginning to have some hope for the future.
“He speaks particularly of the loss he has suffered and the impact of his young family and the loss of a grandmother.
“He concludes by saying the full impact of the tragedy will be upon him some time in the future. He says: ‘the pain never goes away, but I hope I can get used to it’.”
You can read the full story here.