Former soldier spared jail

A FORMER soldier who launched a campaign of violence against a Hadleigh shopkeeper has been spared jail by magistrates.A court heard how 19-year-old Dylan Woods assaulted off-licence owner Stephen Ellis on three occasions after he was caught stealing from the shop.

A FORMER soldier who launched a campaign of violence against a Hadleigh shopkeeper has been spared jail by magistrates.

A court heard how 19-year-old Dylan Woods assaulted off-licence owner Stephen Ellis on three occasions after he was caught stealing from the shop.

Sudbury magistrates' heard how Woods spat in Mr Ellis' face and then beat him unconscious, leaving him needing hospital treatment for injuries to his head, eyes, arms and legs.

Despite the repeated attacks at the Beer Barrel off-licence in Hadleigh High Street, Woods was sparred jail and sentenced to a 12-month Community Rehabilitation Order. He was also ordered to pay Mr Ellis, who is aged in his 50s, £300 in compensation.


You may also want to watch:


Woods, of Bradfield Avenue, Hadleigh, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to assaulting Mr Ellis on three occasions. He also admitted stealing crisps and beer from the shop and assaulting a police officer, by spitting in his face, when he was arrested in relation to the attacks.

Anita Addison prosecuting, told the court Mr Ellis noticed Woods put some beers under his coat on November 15 last year. When confronted Woods grabbed Mr Ellis around the head and swung him through a card stand, cutting him above the eye. Woods then dropped the beer on the floor and fled.

Most Read

Three days later Woods returned to the shop and was told he was banned. He then picked up some crisps and cans of beer and left the shop without paying for them.

On November 29 Mr Ellis was in his shop with his wife Lata and they could see Woods hanging around outside. At around 8.40pm Mr Ellis went to the door of his shop and Woods run past and spat in his face.

Just over an hour later Mr Ellis was closing up his shop when Woods re-appeared and launched a "martial arts style" kick at him. He then pulled Mr Ellis out of the shop and punched and kicked him to the ground and continued the attack leaving the shopkeeper unconscious on the floor.

Mr Ellis was taken to Ipswich Hospital and was treated for a cut eye, several bruises and lumps to his head, whiplash and arm and leg injuries.

On Christmas Eve Woods spat in the face of a Hadleigh police officer and hit out at another as they attempted to arrest him, the court was told.

Nick Wray, mitigating, said: "This young man has only one previous conviction. He had been in the army but returned to live in Hadleigh, where drinking too much became a habit. He has expressed remorse."

Woods, who was previously convicted of a public disorder offence in June 2002, was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to each police officer and £55 costs.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus