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MAN WHO DEFIED BAN ON VISITING COUNCIL OFFICES JAILED

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court ref no: 97 MTC 1567 ...
court ref no: 97 MTC 1567

A former soldier said to have threatened to 'do a Dunblane' has been jailed for six months for defying high court orders barring him from schools and council offices.

David Jennings made his threat while in prison serving a sentence for assault earlier tis year after three of his ten children were put in foster care.

Mr Justice Hooper jailed Jennings, 51, of Abbey Wood, south east London, yesterday after hearing that he had 'frightened' the 57-year-old foster mother of his three daughters at her home and had assaulted a social services legal adviser.

The emergency injunction won last January by Greenwich LBC against Jennings forbade him from carrying firearms or other offensive weapons or interfering with children, teachers and other staff at schools in the borough or from visiting council officers and the foster carers home without an appointment.

Jennings ended the legal action against him by giving the undertakings to Mr Justice Butterfield on January 6 and said after the hearing: 'I never did intend to do the things suggested.'

He has previous convictions for assaulting council officers and possessing a firearm in public.

His threats to emulate the Dunblane massacre of schoolchildren and a teacher were made to a prison chaplain at Swaleside Prison in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent and a report was made to the police.

Mr Justice Hooper said today that the council were seeking an order to commit Jennings to prison for contempt of court because he was in breach of the undertakings he had given.

The judge said Jennings became concerned about his three daughters, aged three, four and five, when he spotted bruises on one of the girl's legs during an agreed contact meeting.

He believed that the injuries were inflicted by their foster parents but a social workers' inquiry found they were accidental.

Mr Jennings did not wait for the council workers' report and visited council officers in Greenwich where he made threats, saying the officials there were 'too scared' of him to do anything about his breach of the high court order.

Later last month he went to the home of the foster parents where he demanded to see the foster mother, but she refused to let him in.

When he sat on the front doorstep and continued ringing the bell she called police who persuaded him to leave.

The judge said the foster mother was 'frightened that unless further action was taken Mr Jennings would come to her property and become abusive and violent.'

She said she feared for the safety of the foster children and her own family.

When Simon Angliss, the council solicitor, served papers on Jennings over the breaches of the order, Jennings 'flew into a rage and struck him across the head,' said the judge.

Mr Justice Hooper said the visit to the foster carers home must have been 'a terrifying event for them' and was the most serious breach of the order and 'must be followed by a sentence of imprisonment.'

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