Addicts in lunchtime street fight

A PAIR of recovering drug addicts today face an anxious wait to see whether they will be jailed after a man was punched and kicked in the head.Antonio Bennett and Claire Brown, both of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour after a lunchtime street fight witnessed by shoppers in Ipswich town centre.

A PAIR of recovering drug addicts today face an anxious wait to see whether they will be jailed after a man was punched and kicked in the head.

Antonio Bennett and Claire Brown, both of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour after a lunchtime street fight witnessed by shoppers in Ipswich town centre.

Prosecutor Lesla Small told Ipswich magistrates that closed circuit television showed Brown becoming embroiled in a fight with her sister Susanne around 1.30pm on March 7.

When another man, David Hines, intervened Claire Brown spat in his face, before spitting in the face of a second male, Trevor Bemrose. The 26-year-old then punched one of the men in front of startled members of the public, said Ms Small.

The court heard Bennett was then seen on camera running towards Mr Hines, before launching himself towards him in a violent manner.

Bennett punched Mr Hines in the face, causing him to fall to the ground. He then punched him repeatedly and kicked him in the face.

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Ms Small said a witness said she was shocked and shaken by what she saw, and had never seen such a violent attack.

Although officers attended the scene, Bennett and Claire Brown were not arrested immediately as none of the three people who were spat at or hit wanted to make a complaint. They heard all five people involved knew each other and had substance misuse problems.

Ian Duckworth, mitigating for Bennett and his partner, who is one-month pregnant, said the pair were arrested on March 18 after police had seen CCTV images of the incident.

Although his clients have previous convictions and problems with abuse, he described Bennett as doing “marvellously well” according to the Probation Service and said he had been clean for nine weeks. Claire Brown, whose parents died through drug overdoses, has also been trying to keep off drugs since last April, he added.

Magistrates adjourned the case until April 12 for reports to be compiled. Both defendants were given conditional bail.

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