Farway crossbow man cleared of assault – but still faces jail

PUBLISHED: 17:59 23 January 2020

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant


A plumber has been cleared of attacking his former partner at his farmhouse, near Honiton, but still faces jail for aiming a loaded and cocked crossbow at police.

Mark Davey was found not guilty of attacking his former partner and pushing her onto an Aga in the kitchen at his Farway home.

He told the jury at Exeter Crown Court he was acting in self defence and trying to disarm her, as she was trying to scald him with boiling water.

He fled the farmhouse after the incident, locking her inside and taking her phone.

A lodger living in a spare room called the police, which just arrived when Davey burst into the lounge brandishing the crossbow.

The two police officers shouted repeated orders to drop the crossbow.

Their body-worn cameras recorded the scene as Davey refused to do so, and he was tasered. He still did not drop the bow but fled the room and went upstairs.

After armed police arrived and sealed off the building, he gave himself up.

Davey, aged 44, of Farway, near Honiton, denied and was cleared of causing actual bodily harm to his former partner on the night of October 4 last year but admitted affray.

Judge Timothy Rose remanded him in custody to await sentence on Monday and told him: "We are still left with an extremely serious situation I am in no doubt will result in a prison sentence."

Davey's former partner told Exeter Crown Court Davey lashed out at her after they had both thrown water at each other, and he had gone upstairs in a rage and wrecked his bedroom.

He came downstairs and into the kitchen, where she claimed he punched her once, causing a gash in her forehead and sending her sprawling into the Aga.

Davey said he had been in a relationship with the woman for several years but they had broken up because of her heavy drinking.

He said they both called the police during a series of incidents in the months leading up to October.

He told the jury they had been out for two drinks at the Otter Inn on the night of October 4, but she had drunk at least a bottle of wine more when they returned.

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