Magistrates courts deal with all manner of criminal cases.

From a man who was convicted of sexual assault, to the seizure of a samurai sword after threats were made, here is a round-up of recent cases heard in Colchester.

A SEX offender who inappropriately touched a woman has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Peter Broom, 56, had denied one count of sexual assault, but was convicted following a trial at Colchester Magistrates’ Court in March.

He was found to have intentionally touched a woman without her consent.

Broom, of Nightingale Close, Harwich, appeared for sentence at the same court. He was sentenced to a community order, including a rehabilitation programme, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He will pay prosecution costs of £770 and will remain subject to police notification requirements for five years.

A WOMAN found in possession of heroin and cocaine has been hit with a fine.

Tracey Baxter, 45, admitted two counts of possessing Class A drugs in Colchester when she appeared before magistrates earlier this month.

She appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on April 6 to be sentenced.

Baxter, of Lizards Way, Beck Row, Suffolk, was slapped with an £80 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £145.

A MAN who took a motorcycle without the owners consent and rode it without due care and attention. 

Jack Smith, 23, took the Honda Vision motorcycle in Harwich in July last year, riding it without a helmet, due care and attention or valid insurance.

Appearing at Colchester Magistrates' Court on April 6, he admitted riding a motorcycle without protective headgear, taking a motor vehicle without the owner's consent, driving without due care and attention and driving without insurance.

Smith, of Princess Street, Parkeston, was ordered to complete a 19-day rehabilitation activity requirement and will remain under curfew for four weeks. 

His license was endorsed with six penalty points and he will pay £105 in prosecution costs.

A MAN who threatened violence with a sword and was found to be carrying cannabis has been spared an immediate prison term.

Gavin Mitchell, 46, was found to have made the threats with a Samurai sword in Clacton on March 3 and was arrested.

He admitted possession of a Class B drug and threatening unlawful violence and was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates' Court on April 6.

Mitchell, of Merry Mount Gardens, Holland-on-Sea, was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must pay £100 in compensation and the sword will be destroyed.

A TEENAGER who disclosed private sexual photographs of a woman and assaulted another has been spared prison.

Thomas Offord, 18, appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on April 6. 

He admitted assault by beating and two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs without consent at a previous hearing in February.

He was found to have disclosed the pictures in September last year.

Offord, of North Road, Clacton, was sentenced to 19 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

He must carry out 140 hours of unpaid work, complete a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay £105 in prosecution costs.

Offord was also hit with a restraining order prohibiting contact with the subject of the photographs and banning him from posting anything about her on social media.