Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Richmond man spared jail for attack
A MAN who lashed out at drunks who were taunting him as he walked through a town centre has been spared prison.
Simon McGovern, 35, reacted angrily to having his hat pulled off and driving licence stolen from his rucksack.
He lunged at one man with a large adjustable spanner and caught him in the head, Teesside Crown Court heard.
He followed up the blow with a punch to the face – all of which was captured on security cameras.
Police arrested the one-time successful businessman, but his victim refused to make a complaint about the attack.
He was given a seven-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours of unpaid community work.
Judge Peter Bowers said: “It was a worrying attack, using a spanner at that time at night when everyone was worse for drink.
“But the fact is, the victim made no complaint, perhaps because he accepted he had in some way provoked you.”
The court heard how trouble flared in the Market Place in Richmond , North Yorkshire, at 3.20am on April 15.
McGovern was walking to his flat in Frenchgate when he was taunted and remonstrated with a group of six people.
His barrister, Brian Russell, told the court frustrations got the better of him and he lashed out with the tool he found.
He said McGovern was sleeping on the floor of his unfurnished flat after his business ventures hit hard times last year.
“Over a year, he went from a successful businessman with a happy family to his business failing,” said Mr Russell.
“More recently, he has had a severely broken leg and, unsurprisingly, that has led to a certain degree of depression.”
He told Judge Bowers: “This is not just some random drunken assault in the street – a series of events built up and came to a head.
“He was not out to cause trouble – he was trying to make his way home when he got involved in this unfortunate situation.
“His account is somewhat backed up by the fact no complaint was made. They maybe felt they were not without blame themselves.”