Youth guilty of beating over car smash

A WALTON teenager, who pummelled a young driver he believed had damaged his car, is to be sentenced next month.James Clifford, of Church Lane, had denied punching Mitchell Spink five times and splitting his lip so badly it needed stitches.

A WALTON teenager, who pummelled a young driver he believed had damaged his car, is to be sentenced next month.

James Clifford, of Church Lane, had denied punching Mitchell Spink five times and splitting his lip so badly it needed stitches.

Prosecutor Helen Booth told South East Suffolk Magistrates Court, 19-year-old Clifford had sought retribution for his Fiat Punto being struck by another vehicle on January 9 this year.

The problems arose between youngsters who paraded their cars around what is known as the 'double Ds' - the circuit taking in Ipswich Crown Court, Cardinal Park and Zest.

Magistrates heard Mr Spink was on his own when his car was stopped and boxed in by a Vauxhall Corsa and a N registration Rover in Kingfisher Avenue on January 11. Another car then pulled up on his right. This was followed by Clifford in his Fiat, accompanied by his girlfriend Tanisha Preston. Clifford parked on Mr Spink's left-hand side towards the front of his Honda Civic.

After one of the young men got out of their car to speak to Mr Spink through an open window, it was alleged that Clifford approached him and, without saying anything, rained five blows down on him. He then walked off.

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The court was told Clifford believed Mr Spink had been involved in the collision with his car two days earlier.

Giving evidence in his defence Clifford accepted he had been at the scene of the attack, but someone else - whom he did not know - punched the young man.

He told magistrates he had only gone over to see if Mr Spink was hurt, but the youngster told him he was not. Clifford said Mr Spink then drove off after the other cars had gone.

Later that night the court was told Mr Spink went to hospital where his top lip was stitched. Police were then informed of the assault.

After hearing evidence from Mr Spink, Clifford and Miss Preston, magistrates found Clifford guilty of actual bodily harm.

The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports and Clifford was bailed until sentencing on August 16.

N Have you ever been assaulted after a collision? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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