Alcoholic escapes prison

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AN ALCOHOLIC who assaulted a teenager in an unprovoked attack has escaped prison.

Andrew Nicholson, 38, now of Loughborough, turned to alcohol after an 18-year heroin addiction and was drunk at Hilderthorpe Coach Park at around 8pm on April 15 when his companion Tara Jayne Simpson began to racially abuse two men, Bridlington Magistrates’ Court heard last Wednesday.

Prosecutor Jayne Wilson said that as Simpson racially insulted the men, she called to Nicholson, who had been drinking strong lager since that morning.

“She shouted to Andrew Nicholson to beat one of them up,” said Ms Wilson.

“Andrew Nicholson came across and punched Lakhan Singh three times to the face and then Simpson kicked him while he was on the floor.

“The victim ran to a nearby petrol station to get help, while Simpson attacked and racially insulted another man.”

The victim’s mother and a PCSO arrived, before Nicholson and Simpson were arrested.

Nicholson had pleaded guilty to the assault at an earlier hearing, but had said he could not remember doing it as he was heavily in drink.

Mitigating, Vicky Lancaster said: “Mr Nicholson is an alcoholic, that is the fact of it.

“He has little memory of it but is very sorry for hurting the young man, he says he doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

“He has battled one demon, heroin, but now has another problem in alcohol. The fact is that Mr Nicholson needed a drink just to get him here today, medically if he didn’t have a drink he would be shaking and unable to function.

“If he goes to prison, he will be given methodone and come out with a methodone habit. That is just what happens.”

Presiding magistrate Graham McDonald told Nicholson that he had decided to go along with the recommendations from the probation service’s pre-sentence report and sentenced him to an 18 month community and supervision order, and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to Mr Singh, and £85 court costs.

Mr McDonald said: “You are extremely lucky you are not going to prison.

“Although this wasn’t a racially motivated attack on your part, you were egged on by another who said made unnacceptable comments to this young man and his friends.

“We hope this order will help reduce your agression and intimidation of others, reduce you anti-social behaviour and reduce your alcohol consumption, because there is no way you can carry on like this.”

Magistrates decided not to punish Nicholson for breaching a 12 month conditional discharge applied for an offence in March this year.

The co-accused, Tara Jayne Simpson, will appear at court for sentencing on June 21.