Jail threat to drunks who hit strangers

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

TWO teenagers who threat­ened and at­tacked strangers while on a drunken binge in Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre have been told they face jail.

Stephen Ben­nett and Ja­son Clark, both aged 19, pleaded guilty to one count of us­ing threat­en­ing or abu­sive words and be­hav­iour at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day.

The court heard they had spent a num­ber of hours drink­ing in the Col­lege Arms pub in Broad­way, Peter­bor­ough on May 19 be­fore they were ejected from the pub for be­ing too drunk.

Af­ter be­ing kicked out at 9.30pm, the pair were then tracked by CCTV op­er­a­tors in the city as they walked down Broad­way, punch­ing metal shut­ters on shop doors be­fore as­sault­ing and threat­en­ing three strangers in the street.

Giles Beau­mont, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court that Ben­nett, of Gatenby, Wer­ring­ton, Peter­bor­ough, had only been re­leased from prison for a racially ag­gra­vated as­sault a week be­fore go­ing on the ram­page.

He said: “It was 9.30pm when they were seen punch­ing the metal shut­ters, prob­a­bly do­ing more harm to them­selves than the shops.

“There were not many peo­ple around at the time, but they tried to pick on ev­ery­one they saw.

“They ap­proached a man in a black shirt near the West­gate area of the city and Ben­nett punched him in the head and in the chest.

“They then walked across the road where they went up to a cou­ple of lads.

“Ben­nett hugged one of them as if they were friends, be­fore they both punched the lads in the side of the head.

“They were then ar­rested by po­lice who were ap­proach­ing them in the street.

“Both said they were very drunk, putting them­selves at seven or eight on a scale on one to 10. Ben­nett said he could not re­mem­ber what hap­pened.”

Mr Beau­mont added that po­lice had not traced any of the vic­tims.

Martin Newton, de­fend­ing Ben­nett, said: “Ben­nett has a prob­lem with al­co­hol and has mis­used drugs.

“But he has not re­ceived any sup­port for his prob­lems in the past and he should re­ceive some.”

Deputy District Judge Ken Gold-spring ad­journed the case un­til June 23 for re­ports to be car­ried out but told the pair that cus­tody was “al­most in­evitable”.

He said: “This was a very nasty in­ci­dent.

“It must have been very fright­en­ing for mem­bers of the pub­lic who came across you.”

Clark, of East­field Road, East­field, Peter­bor­ough, was granted bail un­til the next hear­ing, which will be held at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Ben­nett was re­fused bail with Mr Gold-spring say­ing he was concerned he would fail to sur­ren­der and com­mit fur­ther of­fences while on bail.

KICKED OUT: Ben­nett and Clark were kicked out of The Col­lege Arms, in Broad­way, Peter­bor­ough be­fore their drunken ram­page.

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