Sunday, 13 June 2010

Local Former Conservative Convicted By Lincoln Crown Court

A local businessman and former Conservative Branch Chairman was found with two knives when police stopped him in the early hours of the morning, a court has heard. Mr. Donald Sweeting, who was driving in an erratic manner attracted the attention of police officers as his Mercedes swerved between the kerb and the centre white line as he drove along Longdales Road, Lincoln, at 3am the Lincolnshire Echo reported yesterday.

Mr. Simon Rowe, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Mr. Sweeting was stopped a few moments later in Yarborough Crescent. He claimed Sweeting's reactions appeared slow and when he tried to turn off his ignition he instead turned the radio on full blast.

Mr. Sweeting was then searched by Constable Royston Walkling and two kitchen knives were found in the inside pocket of his jacket.

Mr. Rowe said Mr. Sweeting was obstructive at the roadside and was arrested for failing to provide a specimen. He said:
"The officers had to go to some effort to handcuff him and get him into the police vehicle. He was then further verbally obstructive at the police station."
Mr. Sweeting, of Curtis Close, Horncastle, denied possession of two knives in a public place on Saturday, 25th July 2009, but was convicted by a jury after a short trial. He admitted failing to provide a specimen on the same date. Mr. Sweeting was given a two-year conditional discharge for the knife offence. He was also fined £300 with £700 costs and banned from driving for three years.

The court was told he had a previous conviction for drink-driving on 17th, October 2007.

Mr. Sweeting told the court he had a glass of wine with a meal with his partner and had taken medication, including pain-killers and anti-depressants. He then set off from Horncastle to travel to his former home in Gainsborough, where he planned to use the knives to prepare a special birthday meal for his daughter.

Mr. Sweeting denied he intended to use the knives to harm anyone and said he had them for a legitimate purpose. Mr. Desmond Rosario, defending, said there was no sinister motive for Sweeting having the knives on him.

Mr. Sweeting was Chairman of the Gainsborough Branch of the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association between 2003 and 2007 and a founder director of the Bahama International Trade Associaiton.

The Deputy Chairman of the Gainsborugh Constituency Conservative Assocaition, Cllr. William Parry, confirmed that he has not been a member for over two years.

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