Offender ‘changing his ways’

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A persistent offender has escaped jail for beating up an Ilkeston man after a judge was handed proof that he is turning his life around.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Stephen Iliffe, 39, had repeatedly punched his victim in the face in an ‘unprovoked attack’ at a house on Graham Street in January this year.

Prosecuting, Andrew Vout, said: “The defendant repeatedly punched the victim without provocation.

“Mr Iliffe was telling the victim not to call the police or he would kill him.

“A neighbour saw what was happening and called 999.”

The victim was left with two swollen eye sockets, blood shot eyes and facial injuries.

Iliffe originally denied any knowledge of the incident but later admitted it after the victim’s blood was found on his coat and left trainer.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm on the day a trial was due to start in July this year.

Sentencing him to 11 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, Judge Goodchild said: “This was an ugly incident which could have seen you in prison but you appear to be making an effort.

“You’ve got a home, you’ve cracked your drug habit, a genuine well done for that.

“What’s saved you is your City and Guild certificate, what that shows is you’re trying and I’m not going to stop you trying.

“You’ve had suspended sentences before, as you know it is up to you whether you serve this sentence.”