Assault victim accused of being “a grass” suffers further attacks

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

An assault victim who was previously attacked by a man with a crutch has suffered a further three attacks after he had been accused of being an informant.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, November 9, how Joseph Gibson, 18, formerly of Clarence Road, Chesterfield, targeted victim Michael Spicer three times following a previous incident where Mr Spicer had been the complainant and victim during a crutch attack by one of Gibson’s friends.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “Mr Spicer came across three males including Gibson and they had been calling him a grass concerning the crutch attack.

“They went into a jeweller’s shop and they were banging on the door saying Mr Spicer was going to get dealt with.

“The defendant tried to punch Mr Spicer but he blocked the blow but contact was made with the complainant’s forearm and there was a punch to the head.”

The first assault on October 15, on Cavendish Street, Chesterfield, was followed by another assault at Low Pavement on the same day and another attack on Knifesmithgate two days later in the town.

Mrs Haslam explained that Mr Spicer had walked away after the first assault but was approached again by Gibson and the two other males and the defendant punched him to the head again on Low Pavement.

She added: “The defendant punched him to the head at Tesco and was shouting at him and calling him a grass saying he had got his friend locked up.”

Mr Spicer was attacked for the third time by Gibson who hit him in the face with a bag on Knifesmithgate, according to Mrs Haslam, after again accusing him of being a grass.

Gibson, of No Fixed Abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating and one count of assault.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of damage committed in Chesterfield, on November 8, including damage to a door and recycling bin at Barnardo’s, on Newbold Road, and damage to a door at support accommodation where he had been living on Clarence Road.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said jobless Gibson had been in the care system and he has issues with alcohol and drugs and suffers with mental health problems.

District Judge Andrew Davison said: “Alcohol, cannabis and cocaine are a dangerous combination and he’s got a grudge against Michael Spicer for giving information into another case against his friend.

“It’s a powder keg with him using alcohol, cannabis and cocaine.”

District Judge Davison warned this behaviour would not be tolerated and could lead to detention but he adjourned the case for a day to allow for a probation report to be considered.

Gibson was granted a deferred sentence on Thursday, November 10, when his case will be reviewed on January 12, 2017, providing he does not commit any further offences in the meantime, complies with an existing community order and ensures that payments are made towards existing fines.

Michael Spicer had been one of four men attacked by a thug with a crutch in Chesterfield town centre on October 3.

Derby Crown Court heard on November 2 how Paul Walker, 27, of Broom Avenue, Pilsley, near Chesterfield, carried out the attacks on Michael Spicer and three others.

Walker, who has previous convictions, had his case adjourned until November 23 for sentencing.