Street attack ‘lout’ jailed

ONE of three “drunk” louts who caused trouble on a Nelson street at 9-30 in the morning has been locked up.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Ian Shepherd struck John Evans with a stick in the melee, leaving him with a one and a half inch wound and needing hospital treatment. The victim’s retired father-in-law, John Smith, had been with him when the pair were confronted by the unruly defendants last August 20th.

Shepherd (27), of Southfield Street, Nelson, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for eight months.

A 15-year-old who pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour was given a six-month youth rehabilitation order and a 17-year-old who admitted affray received a 12-month rehabilitation order, with supervision. The teenagers, both from Nelson, cannot be named for legal reasons.

Miss Sarah Johnston (prosecuting) said Mr Evans and Mr Smith, who is retired, were travelling along Railway Street in Mr Smith’s car.

The defendants were being unruly in the street, some of them without their tops on, and were shouting. Mr Smith, who was at the wheel, had to manoeuvre to avoid them. The 15-year-old struck the rear of the vehicle and the driver wound his window down and asked what his problem was. Mr Evans and Mr Smith were shouted and sworn at and Mr Evans got out and remonstrated. The defendants continued to be aggressive, surrounded the car and Mr Evans and he was told: “We are Nelson lads.” Mr Evans stepped forward and the three defendants were gesturing towards him, and shouting: “Come on.”

Miss Johnston said bricks and stones were thrown at Mr Evans by the gang and he was struck and suffered pain and swelling to his hip. Shepherd took hold of a stick, ran towards the victim and hit him with some force.

The hearing was told the defendants continued to act in an aggressive way, passers-by shouted that police had been called and they ran off.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said the defendants’ behaviour was “loutish and bullying” and they had appeared to be drunk. She added: “That will not be tolerated.”