The antics of a drunken scaffolder who held up traffic as he wandered in the street before focusing his attentions on a couple were likened to ‘histrionics’ by an Oxford judge.

Stephen Bubb, 32, stopped vehicles in their tracks as he stumbled along Banbury Road, Bicester, on September 25 last year. He made rude gestures at the drivers and shouted obscenities.

He turned his attention to a couple who were walking their dog, shouting in the face of the male partner.

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Feeling threatened, the man defended himself and his wife – with Bubb coming off worse in the confrontation.

Recorder John Ryder QC said it was ‘to his credit’ that the husband had decided to defend himself against the defendant.

“Anyone drunk, wandering in and out of the road, waving their arms about, shouting abuse is always rather alarming, particularly if they come anywhere near any individuals walking around,” the judge said.

He said the defendant had not caused any physical harm. “The whole thing appears more histrionics than anything else,” he added.

Sentencing him to a two-year community order, Recorder Ryder said: “You’re now 32-years-old, you have a number of previous convictions many of them, it seems, associated with the abuse of alcohol.

“You’ve pleaded guilty to an offence of affray. At around about 8.45pm on a day in September last year you were extremely drunk, shouting and wandering in and out of the roads, stopping cars, making obscene gestures and generally making both a fool of yourself and causing a nuisance to others.

“You approached this couple who had done absolutely nothing whatsoever to attract your attention.”

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When he was interviewed, a now sober Bubb was ‘entirely cooperative’ with the police officers and accepted responsibility for what had happened.

The judge said: “It is quite plain it’s your inability to control your intake of alcohol which causes the problems. I’m sure that when sober the way you behaved in interview is typical of you and you obviously work and are doing so at the moment."

As part of his two-year community order, Bubb must complete 80 hours of unpaid work, up to 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a 12-month alcohol treatment programme.

Recorder Ryder warned the defendant that if he breached the order of committed further offences he would return to court and could expect to go to prison.

He said: “Stay off the alcohol and we won’t meet again.”

Bubb, of Chantenay Close, Bicester, pleaded guilty to affray. No evidence was offered by the prosecution in relation to an allegation of attempted robbery.

He must pay £400 in prosecution costs.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

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