Ex-soldier attacked two men in street
AFORMER soldier has admitted threatening behaviour in Rawtenstall town centre.
James Haworth, 29, of Hargreaves Drive, pleaded guilty at Burnley Magistrates Court to a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour after an incident in Rawtenstall town centre on the evening of September 29 this year.
Prosecuting, Andy Robinson said that a passing police patrol saw the defendant on top of another man on the pavement while punching him.
Officers approached the scene but Haworth continued to be aggressive.
Mr Robinson, said: “He pushed past the officers and punched a second man. The men were not known to him.”
Mr Robinson said that the two men suffered injuries, one a black eye and the other cuts to his right ear.
The court heard that during police interviews after his arrest Haworth was cooperative, admitted his behaviour and said ‘I take full responsibilty for it’.
Haworth, who works as a self-employed road surface worker, had previous convictions for a number of public order offences including assault in 2015 and assaulting a police officer in 2016.
Mr Robinson said that although the fact that Haworth had been seen by the police officers punching the two men was not in dispute by all parties, the charge was one of public order as the men had decided not to make a complaint.
Defending, David Lawson said his client had previously been a member of the Armed Services, serving a ‘lengthy stint’ in Afghanistan where he had sustained ‘life threatening injuries in combat’.
He said: “Mr Haworth needed facial reconstruction and surgery to remove half his bowel. “After returning, as is not uncommon in these cases, he sought release in alcohol and by his own admission this has led to the public order offences.”
Mr Lawson said that his client had been co-operative with probation services, attending all his appointments after previous appearances in court but ‘the help there did not go far enough’.
He said a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had been arrived at and in recent months he had made contact with a combat veterans’ group who were assisting him with care and support.
Magistrates sentenced Haworth to a four-week curfew between 8pm and 5am and ordered him to pay costs of £170.