Brothers who assaulted a man during unprovoked attack escape jail

Darlington and Stockton Times: Brothers who assaulted a man during unprovoked attack escape jail Brothers who assaulted a man during unprovoked attack escape jail

TWO brothers who drunkenly stamped on a man’s head in an unprovoked attack before assaulting two female bar staff have escaped jail.

Magistrates described the attack by Thomas James Hurman and Gareth Robert Swainston, who had been on a day-long drinking session, as “extremely unpleasant and frightening”.

The brothers, both of Rockwell Avenue, Darlington, each pleaded guilty to a public order offence when they appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court after the incident at The Springfield pub, in Salters Lane South, on December 7.

Swainston, 29, also admitted two charges of assault by beating against bar manager Nichola Atkinson and barmaid Amy Blake.

Hurman, 20, pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and possession of cocaine.

The man who was assaulted by the pair did not give a statement to police, which meant they were charged with a wider public order offence of causing fear of violence to others in a public place.

Jonathan Bambro, prosecuting, said Hurman and Swainston had been drinking for several hours and had played pool with the victim before becoming violent.

Mr Bambro said Swainston had started arguing with the man and continually approached him, despite being told to leave the pub by Ms Atkinson.

Mr Bambro said: “Before she [Ms Atkinson] knew it, Swainston and the victim were together in a space between two sets of doors. Swainston and Hurman both were kicking him in his back and head as he lay on the floor in a foetal position.

“Ms Atkinson said she had never seen such violence in the pub before.”

Both Ms Atkinson and Ms Blake attempted to stop Swainston but he injured them while pushing them away.

The brothers were arrested a short distance away – despite being handcuffed Hurman attempted to run from officers. He was also found to have 0.3g of cocaine in his pocket.

Jonathan Harley, mitigating for both defendants, said their actions were inexcusable but that both rarely drank.

He added: “There is a suggestion of antagonism from the victim but I don’t know if that is true or just Mr Swainston’s perception of the incident.

“Both men appreciate that you cannot kick someone when they are on the floor.”

Magistrates sentenced Hurman to 12 weeks in a young offender’s institute, suspended for one year, with one year of supervision.

Swainston was sentenced to nine weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year with supervision. He must also pay compensation to Ms Atkinson and Ms Blake.

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