WEDDING photographer Clayton Bennett has admitted threatening his wife’s ex-husband in a town centre fracas.
The snapper, who has made headlines for allegedly ruining the big days of several couples with poor pictures, reportedly met Rose-Ellen Forster when he covered her marriage to Mark Fry.
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court was told Mr Fry and Ms Forster married in April 2008, but their relationship broke down nine months later and she began a relationship with Bennett, of Cedar Terrace, Fence Houses. She has since given birth to their child.
The 50-year-old had already been warned by police about his behaviour, after Mr Fry raised concerns before the incident in Peterlee.
The clash between Bennett, who told the court he is unemployed, began after he shouted to Mr Fry: “You’re the person I’ve been waiting to see” as they shopped.
Prosecutor Jacqueline Gibson said Bennett pushed out his chest and tried to egg Mr Fry on by shouting: “Come on then, I’m here, take a swing at me.”.
Mr Fry’s new partner Amanda Carr, whose four-year-old daughter witnessed the rumpus, stepped between them, allowing her boyfriend to back away.
Miss Gibson said: “The defendant has then again approached Mr Fry, grabbed him by his coat and pushed his back up against one of the shop fronts.
“The defendant then pulled Mr Fry up on to his tiptoes against the shop front.”
Further invites to hit him were made before Ms Carr stepped in again and they headed to Asda, where and taunts continued in front of staff.
Miss Gibson said: “This incident has left Mr Fry feel harassed and scared, scared of what this defendant will do to him and that has also had a clear affect on his partner.”
Bennett, who represented himself, had denied he was the aggressor.
He was due to stand trial after denying using threatening words or behaviour on December 5, but changed his plea to guilty as the hearing was due to start.
When District Judge Leo Pyle asked if he would like to address the court, Bennett claimed there were “anomalies” in the prosecution case, stating it would have been a “physical impossibility” to lift up Mr Fry, who he said is 6ins taller than him, and their altercation happened in an alleyway, not against a shop front.
The judge said he wanted probation reports to be completed before Bennett was sentenced, and that custody was an option.
Miss Gibson said a draft restraining order would also be prepared.
Sentencing was adjourned until today.