Start sav­ing to pay vic­tim, judge tells at­tacker

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Ge­off BEN­NETT Court re­porter ge­off.ben­nett@reach­plc.com

GET sav­ing and be­have your­self - those were two of the con­di­tions given to a Long Cross man to avoid prison.

An­drew Hodgkins ad­mit­ted at­tack­ing Ian Turner af­ter a lon­grun­ning dis­pute.

Bris­tol Crown Court heard he grabbed him, head-butted him and pushed him to the ground in Oc­to­ber last year.

Mr Turner was left need­ing hos­pi­tal treat­ment for a cut head, which needed to be glued, and a chipped an­kle bone.

Hodgkins, 48, pleaded guilty to assault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm out­side Manor Farm Foot­ball Club, Bris­tol.

Judge Mar­tin Pic­ton de­ferred sen­tence for six months, un­til March 26 next year.

He told Hodgkins: “You caused a re­ally se­ri­ous in­jury to some­one who didn’t de­serve it.

“He’s had to live with a long pe­riod of phys­i­cal and men­tal an­guish.

“You could have ab­so­lutely no com­plaints it you went im­me­di­ately to prison, and your fam­ily would suf­fer hideously as a re­sult. “They would be the real losers. “I’m not yet per­suaded that isn’t what should hap­pen.”

The judge de­ferred sen­tence on the grounds that Hodgkins be­haves sen­si­bly and en­gages with re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

He also told him: “Have money to hand over there and then so that the vic­tim can at least get some fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion for what you did.

“Then I will find a way to sus­pend cus­tody.

“If not I won’t and you will only have your­self to blame.”

The court heard Mr Turner was left with pain to his right an­kle, which ef­fected his abil­ity to climb steps and lad­ders as a painter and dec­o­ra­tor.

He said that he had stopped play­ing darts for a pub team as he did not want to en­counter the de­fen­dant.

Charley Pat­ti­son, de­fend­ing, said that the men ex­changed words af­ter a “fairly long-run­ning is­sue be­tween the two of them”.

She said her client was med­i­cated for anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and was en­gag­ing in on­line learn­ing on the road to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Miss Pat­ti­son told the court: “He wishes that he never did it.

“He wishes that he walked away from it.

She said: “He could pay com­pen­sa­tion though he has very lim­ited means.

“Work is very up and down given the Covid sit­u­a­tion.”

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