Drunken yob spared jail

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A DRUNKEN yob who took part in an unprovoked gang attack in Alfreton town centre has been spared jail.

Victim Gary Woodley parked his car and was walking to a High Street bank at 6.45pm when he felt intimidated and alarmed by four men approaching him.

“He said they were all shouting and jumping about in a crazy manner and acting like a pack of animals.

“One shouted to him: ‘Do you want some?’.

“He ignored them and kept on walking. They caught up with him near Ilkeston Co-Op Travel and surrounded him,” Lynn Manning, prosecuting, told magistrates at Chesterfield.

Blows were rained on his head and body and he was knocked to the ground. Ms Manning said he tried to “curl up into a ball” as his head was kicked repeatedly.

Mr Woodley, who suffered cuts and bruises to his head and face, heard people shouting for the gang to back off.

“He said he felt disgusted.

“He didn’t know why he was attacked and he said: ‘I didn’t even speak to them’,” added Ms Manning.

Matthew Saxon, 23, was arrested and later told police he could only remember having a few drinks and he could not recall the incident. He apologised, saying he felt ashamed.

Saxon, of Catherine Street, Alfreton, initially denied the assault, which took place last September 16, but later changed his plea to guilty.

He was handed a 7pm to 7am curfew for 12 weeks, a one-year probation supervision order and 250 hours unpaid work.

He must pay £150 compensation to his victim, with £85 costs.

Ms Manning said it was believed Saxon had been injured during an incident earlier that day involving two men - not including Mr Woodley - in the garden of the King Alfred pub.

Stacey Whyte, for Saxon, said: “He had been assaulted earlier and it is not clear who was responsible for that.

“It’s clear he was heavily intoxicated.

“It was an unpleasant incident but there has been no further offending since then.”

Mrs Whyte added: “Since his release from the armed forces he has had a problem with alcohol.

“His mother says he has changed and he appears to be settling down and getting his life sorted out.”

Daniel Forbes, 22, of Hardy Street, Alfreton, and Kurt O’Brien, 25, of Willows Avenue, Alfreton, received community sentences after admitting charges of assault and threatening behaviour respectively at earlier hearings.