Former bar boss avoids jail after attack

A FORMER Felixstowe bar owner is today counting the cost of his thuggish behaviour after he battered a shopkeeper unconscious in a row over money.

A FORMER Felixstowe bar owner is today counting the cost of his thuggish behaviour after he battered a shopkeeper unconscious in a row over money.

Leslie Crossley was ordered to pay �2,000 and told to complete 250 hours' unpaid work after a judge at Ipswich Crown Court heard how he left his victim with a black eye, bruising on his forehead and nose, and a cut on his hand.

The 52-year-old visited the premises of JD Janitorial Services in Beach Station Road on November 2 last year and repeatedly punched store owner David Dugard after accusing him of failing to pay a �1,200 tab he had amassed at Crossley's Sands bar.

Crossely, of Orwell Road, was found guilty after a trial earlier this year.

The court heard that his conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm put him in breach of two suspended sentences, given in March 2008 for two counts of drink-driving.

Judge David Goodin told Crossley he deserved to go to jail but accepted his pleas that his incarceration would have a significant impact on his teenage daughters.

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Judge Goodin said: “You behaved on this occasion like a violent, frightening thug.

“It may well be that it's not in your character but I have no doubt that you used your physical bulk to intimidate your victim before assaulting him.

“It was a pre-meditated assault resulting in relatively serious injuries.

“You thoroughly deserve to go to prison. I'm not sure your daughters deserve that.”

The court heard that Crossley, who is soon to begin a �52,000-a-year job as a foreman in Ipswich, has no previous convictions for violence.

He was ordered to pay �1,500 towards court costs and �500 in compensation to Mr Dugard. His suspended sentences for drink-driving were extended and will run for a further two years from today.