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Thug is spared from jail after he launched a vicious attack on a concerned passer-by

A thug has narrowly been spared from being sent to jail after he launched a relentless and vicious assault on a concerned passer-by.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 21 how James Hill, 25, of The Lighthouse Project, at Shirebrook, repeatedly attacked Sean Presley at a property on Bolsover Road, at Shuttlewood, where Hill had been staying.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said Mr Presley had been passing and visited the home after he had heard shouting and became concerned because he knows the woman who lives at this property.

Ms Bickley added: “The defendant looked drunk and was weaving from side-to-side and he suggested he might want to go to bed but the defendant stood up and threw punches to his face.”

Hill repeatedly punched Mr Presley and head-butted him to the top of his nose, according to Mrs Bickley, and when the complainant went to the bathroom he was hit in the stomach and around the head.

Mrs Bickley added that Mr Presley was also followed out of the bathroom and a youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, joined Hill in a further assault on Mr Presley with punches and kicks.

Hill, who has 27 court appearances for 44 offences to his name, had pleaded not guilty to the assault by beating after the incident on January 18 but he was found guilty of the offence.

The youth had also been charged with assault and has been convicted and was to be sentenced at a youth court.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Hill’s life has been blighted by drink and drugs and he has lived mainly on the streets as a homeless person with help from friends.

Mr Brint added that Hill had denied the assault because he claimed it had been a fight between two individuals and he had won.

Hill had also recently received a community order instead of custody for a burglary, according to Mr Brint, because a crown court judge had felt the defendant had been turning his life around.

Mr Brint argued that Hill is undergoing training for work, is drinking less and has cut down on drugs and he is working hard to get accommodation.

The probation service also noted that there has been a significant change in his attitude and behaviour.

Magistrates sentenced Hill to 26 weeks of custody suspended for two years with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation.