Man jailed for role in street attack

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A bricklayer is behind bars after failing to comply with a suspended sentence imposed after he was involved in a street attack.

Luke Dance and two other men had been sentenced at Warwick Crown Court in May after pleading guilty to an assault in which their victim was kicked as he lay on the ground.

One man was jailed after it was said he had played the leading role and had kicked the unconscious victim to the head.

Dance, 20, of George Street, Stockton, and the third man were sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years, with supervision and 120 hours of unpaid work.

But the court heard that Dance had repeatedly failed to co-operate with the probation service over the order.

Prosecutor Ian Speed said Dance’s ‘attitude towards the order in general’ had been bad.

Of 12 supervision appointments, he had turned up for only six – and despite being required to attend 29 unpaid work sessions he had turned up for fewer than a third of them and had worked just 56-and-a-half hours.

Mr Speed said the original offence had involved a group attack, with Dance, Cameron Spriggs and Ben Sharratt attacking two cousins in Southam town centre.

As the eventual victim and his cousin were waiting for a lift home, a car driven by Spriggs pulled up, and the two passengers got out.

After an exchange of words, the eventual victim went over to the car where Spriggs felled him with a powerful headbutt, then rained punches on him and kicked him repeatedly to the head.

As that continued, Dance and Sharratt prevented the victim’s cousin from going to the victim’s assistance.

The victim was also slapped in the face by Sharratt and, before they returned to the car, Dance went over and kicked him.

David Murray, defending, conceded: “He was fortunate enough to get the suspended sentence order. He was given the opportunity to comply with the terms of the suspended sentence back in May.”

Of the progress report prepared by Dance’s probation officer, Mr Murray said: “It is a very negative report. Mr Dance has perhaps not given the best impression by his behaviour and by his comments.

“But while he has missed more appointments than he has been to, he has attended six supervision appointments and has completed almost half of the unpaid work.”

Ordering Dance to serve eight months of his suspended sentence, Recorder Christopher Hotten QC told him: “You committed with two others a very unpleasant offence of assault, and you were fortunate to receive a suspended prison sentence.

“The overall effect of the report is that you have persistently sought to avoid your obligations under the order.

“I have to ask myself whether it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence – and I consider it would not.

“The only factor I feel able to take into account to reduce the length of the sentence is that you have done some of the unpaid work.”