Father avoids jail term

A SUFFOLK dad who hit a clergyman in a racist attack has been let off with just a financial penalty.Nigel Spinks pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault after he lashed out at Reverend Roy Todd.

A SUFFOLK dad who hit a clergyman in a racist attack has been let off with just a financial penalty.

Nigel Spinks pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault after he lashed out at Reverend Roy Todd.

But although the offence can carry a prison term 48-year-old tiller Spinks was only ordered to pay £100 in compensation to his victim, a fine of £100, a £15 victim surcharge and £60 towards prosecution costs.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard that Spinks, of Collimer Close, Chelmondiston, had sworn at Mr Todd as well as calling him “fat” and “Irish”.

Emma Lister, prosecuting, said: “The victim was in the front passenger seat of his friend's vehicle travelling along Pinmill Road in Chelmondiston.

“They noticed a man standing in the road waving his arms. He had a child. He asked for a lift.

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“They drove off but stopped and reversed as they were concerned about the young child.

“The defendant becoming racially abusive, swearing at the victim. He then walked towards the victim and punched him to the face.”

Mr Todd was left with reddening to his ear as a result of the encounter.

Neil Saunders, mitigating, said Spink didn't know Mr Todd was a clergyman when the incident occurred.

“He's terribly ashamed because of what he's done. He had been drinking. He wasn't drunk but sufficiently disarmed to hit another gentleman. He apologises.”

Magistrates told Spinks: “This is a nasty offence.

“Normally the entry point for this would be a community penalty but we've listened to what Mr Saunders said and we've taken into account your obvious remorse. You were under acute personal pressure at the time.”