Actor pushed man when drunk

A DRUNK Shakespearean actor has been punished for pushing an Ipswich man's head into a shop window.John Gardiner was looking at a sports shop window display in St Peter's Street when Matthew Rayson pushed his head as he walked past.

A DRUNK Shakespearean actor has been punished for pushing an Ipswich man's head into a shop window.

John Gardiner was looking at a sports shop window display in St Peter's Street when Matthew Rayson pushed his head as he walked past.

Mr Gardiner told South East Suffolk Magistrates Court: “I felt a push against the back of my head which propelled my head into the shop window”.

A small lump and bruising soon appeared on the right hand side of Mr Gardiner's forehead.

Mr Gardiner had been playing pool for the Three Jolly Sailors Pub at the Silent Street Labour Club and had drunk about two pints of beer before walking home along St Peter's Street at about 9pm.

He said he passed two men, one was on the opposite side of the road and the other the defendant, was on the same side as him.

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Mr Gardiner said he noticed the two men were chatting across the road to each other, he said he stopped to look in a shop window and was pushed as Rayson walked past him.

Gardiner telephoned the police and followed Rayson at a safe distance until he was arrested.

Rayson, 28, of Downside Close, told the court he was a touring Shakespearian actor with a local theatre company and also the assistant bar manager of the Belstead Brook Hotel.

He said he had been showing his colleague Pete Davis the sights of Ipswich on the evening of October 9 last year and had drunk about five pints of beer and at least four spirits.

Rayson told the court: “I was well aware I was very drunk on the night in question but in relation to any altercation I have no recollection”.

He said it was “not in his nature” to be violent but admitted it was in his nature to get so drunk that he got into trouble.

Rayson had previous convictions recorded against him including driving with excess alcohol in 2001 and 2003 and being drunk and disorderly in 2004.

Although Rayson denied assaulting Mr Gardiner by beating District Judge David Cooper found him guilty of the offence.

He said: “However uncharacteristic it must be on this occasion he did an uncharacteristic thing. He was undoubtedly the one who shoved poor Mr Gardiner's head into the window.”

Rayson was told to do 60 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay Mr Gardiner £500 compensation and £364 towards court costs.

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