Death of murderer sparked knife threats in pub

Crown Court
Crown Court

THE brother of a murderer who died in prison has been jailed for threatening a man with a knife in a row over the death.

Durham Crown Court heard the news of the death of Joseph Iley in Preston Prison was treated “unsympathetically” by some people in the Peterlee area.

It led to his brother Brian Iley being locked up after a judge heard he attacked a man following a previous incident that was sparked by people talking about the death.

Joseph Iley, 61, was serving life for the murder of his wife, Margaret, when he died of cancer in October.

Prosecuting, Alex Burns told the court: “Joseph Iley’s brother, Brian, was in the local Labour Club when the death was being discussed.

“Brian Iley was assaulted by Kevin Lauderdale, who was arrested and cautioned.

“Two days later, Iley heard Mr Lauderdale was in a Wetherspoon’s pub in Peterlee boasting about ‘getting off’ with the assault.

“Iley’s response was to take a 10-inch knife from his kitchen and to make his way to the pub to confront Mr Lauderdale.”

The court heard Mr Lauderdale was outside the pub when Iley arrived.

“He threatened him with the knife,” said Mr Burns. “Mr Lauderdale was able to get behind the door of the pub to use it as a shield.

“Another man took the knife off Iley and the incident ended.”

Iley, 58, of Morton Square, Peterlee, admitted affray and possession of a bladed article, both on October 26.

Neil Bennett, mitigating, said: “The background to these offences cannot excuse them, but it can explain why.

“The news of Joseph Iley’s death was greeted very unsympathetically by some.

“Brian Iley was assaulted in the Labour Club and forced to leave.

“His nose was broken, and he felt frustrated when he heard how the person who did it was dealt with.

“Mr Iley never intended to use the knife, he just wanted Mr Lauderdale to feel the same fright and intimidation.”

The Recorder, Mr Tim Roberts QC, jailed Iley for 10 months.

Recorder Roberts told him: “I have considered your case very carefully.

“You were feeling very hurt by the apparent disdain with which the death of your brother was being treated.

“But the knife incident was not a chance encounter, you armed yourself and set out to find your victim.

“Had it not been for his quick reactions in getting out of your way, there could have been serious injury.

“I have a public duty to perform and only immediate custody meets the justice of this case.”

Mr Recorder Roberts ordered the knife to be confiscated and destroyed.