‘Roaring’ drunk attacked man in Barnoldswick street

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A “DRUNK” lout who attacked an innocent man in the street was “roaring” as he did it, a court was told.

Burnley Crown Court heard Jordan Wilcox set upon Claude Thompson for nothing, after accusing him of laughing at him. Wilcox, who left his victim with soreness and stiffness to his jaw and neck, was at the time on a suspended jail term for taking part in trouble which led to three men being attacked and injured.

Wilcox, who also has other violence offences on his record, had admitted battery in breach of the suspended term and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. The defendant (20) was sent to a young offenders’ institution for six months.

Mr Alaric Bassano (prosecuting) said Mr Thompson had parked his car and was walking home in Barnoldswick when the defendant, who was also on foot, dropped his mobile phone. It fell to pieces and, as Wilcox picked them up, he asked the victim: “Are you laughing at me?”

Mr Thompson continued to walk and ignored Wilcox, but he then felt a punch to the right side of his face. He would say the defendant was roaring, with clenched fists in the air and it was clear he was very drunk. Wilcox was staggering and slurring his words. Mr Thompson went immediately to a police station and the defendant was arrested. He was drunk and aggressive.

Mr Richard Taylor, for Wilcox, said he had literacy difficulties and mental health problems. It would be his first custodial sentence.

The solicitor added: “This will be a wake-up call for him. He must use the time in custody profitably and he intends, on his release, to attempt to do his best to stay out of trouble.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt told the defendant the assault had been “unprovoked violence on a man in the street” and had been committed 11 months after the suspended term was imposed.

She continued: “You have four previous convictions for assault or battery and one for affray and you are only 20. You do not respond to non-custodial sentences. You don’t stay out of trouble and of course there must be prison in any event.”