A Powys man has been sent to prison after he persistently failed to adhere to a community order for assaulting his ex-partner and her friend.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard that 24-year-old Luke Risdon had been experiencing “significant difficulties” after his mum died weeks after he received a suspended sentence that was imposed in September last year.

But magistrates decided to activate his 16-week sentence after he accepted that he’d failed to attend two probation appointments in January without reasonable excuse. The court was told that Risdon had only completed one hour of his 125 hours of unpaid work and two of his 25 rehabilitation requirement days. 

Dr Rachel Jones, chair, said: “We have taken into account the breaches and that you have not complied with the order at all.”


Risdon assaulted two women – one of whom was his partner at the time – in Llanfyllin on two separate dates in April last year.

In June, he was handed a 12-month community order, but three months later he was back in court and sentenced to serve 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, due to the fact he had persistently failed to adhere to the order.

Robert Hanratty was asked by the magistrates on February 14 to persuade them not to activate Risdon’s suspended sentence.

Mr Hanratty said: “I perceive he’s a quiet and vulnerable young man who was dependent on his mother.

"He is socially isolated and I don’t doubt for one second he is traumatised in the extreme. Who could foretell that his mother would die within weeks of his order? He’s effectively been a recluse since, but he has found part-time work.

County Times:

“My main concern is the dangers of sending vulnerable people to custody. We don’t know what the impact of condemning a life to depression or even worse.

“Deal with his despair and depression. He’s getting out, gained employment and trying to improve things. His explanation for not complying is taken on board seriously by probation.”

The court also heard that a pre-sentence report for Risdon’s original sentence raised concerns that sending the Llangadfan man to prison for his first offence may “expose him to criminals and have a negative impact on his behaviour and rehabilitation”.

After deliberating, magistrates told Risdon, of Mynydd Dwlan Mawr, Llangadfan, that they would activate his suspended sentence before officers took him away from the dock to the court cells.