Owner of eight cats waved ten-inch knife at scaffolder after ‘meow’ taunts

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The owner of eight cats brandished a ten-inch knife at a scaffolder after being taunted with ‘meow’ noises by workers.

Raymond Trowpoole ‘snapped’ after a ‘lengthy period of provocation’, a court heard.

The 56-year-old, from Willes Road in Winson Green, was said to be a charitable and community-spirited figure but admitted he ‘lost control’ after the ‘light-hearted banter’ got the better of him.

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He was handed a six-month suspended sentence at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, January 5 after previously pleading guilty to possession of a bladed article and affray.

The main victim, who was not said to be one of the workers responsible for the jibes, was dismantling scaffolding in Guild Close, Ladywood, on August 11 last year when Trowpoole confronted him.

Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, said: “When he reached the third floor the defendant appeared through one of the access hatches waving a knife at them. He then said: ‘Where’s the f***ing cat?'”

He added that workers had previously ‘taunted’ Trowpoole by making ‘meow, meow’ noises. The knife he wielded was later recovered from his kitchen drawer.

Niall Skinner, defending, said: “He was repeatedly wound up by scaffolders making cat noises at him. He does have a number of cats, as many as eight, I believe.

“It might have been light-hearted banter but it got to him and he became annoyed. He is the first to accept he lost control and acted in a truly stupid manner. He accepts the victim probably wasn’t one of the scaffolders making such gestures and for that he is truly sorry.

“He is a man who has an element of difficulty controlling reactions.”

Recorder Patrick Upward QC said he had read a number of positive character references for Trowpoole which spoke of his good deeds in the community. He suspended his jail sentence for 18 months but ordered him to carry out 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

The judge said: “It follows you were responding to a lengthy period of provocation by these scaffolders and finally snapped reacting in the way that you did.

“Cat calls from scaffolders may have been jokes when they started but if they carry on for a lengthy period they become a minor and major irritation and source and cause of a flashpoint. I’m satisfied that’s what happened in this case.”

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