Troublemaker who targeted traveller trio is locked up for two years

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A JUDGE has jailed a Doncaster man for racial attacks on young gypsy women who were “minding their own business”.

Darran Beveridge was on bail for another attack in Askern when he started insulting a group of two girls and a boy of 17 from the travelling community.

He was still kicking one of the girls when police pulled up outside the Askern Spa Club where he had been drinking.

In what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind in Doncaster, the 24-year-old pleaded guilty at Doncaster Crown Court to two racially-aggravated assaults on Lacey Gaskin and Jade Hopkinson on January 16.

Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite said the friends and Albert Gaskin were walking past the club when Beveridge began to call them a derogatory name used against gypsies.

“These young people are members of the travelling community and were offended by what was said,” Mr Outhwaite said.

“They tried to ignore him but he wanted to fight Albert.

“His sister and Jade tried to get between them and the defendant tried to punch Albert. He took hold of Jade by her hair and she was thrown to the ground.

“Lacey tried to intervene and she was punched two or three times. Jade was kicked and treated to a volley of kicks and punches.”

The assaults stopped only when police arrived and saw him repeatedly kicking and punching Jade.

Mr Outhwaite said the incident had left the complainants nervous about visiting friends in Askern.

Beveridge, of Kings Road, Askern, told police he was drunk and insisted the travellers had attacked him first.

Mr Outhwaite also told the court about an assault causing actual bodily harm to Wesley Priest, aged 29, last September, which Beveridge admitted.

The attack was outside Chilli’s takeaway in Askern where Mr Priest was punched twice on the nose and eye and then kicked on the side of the head.

He suffered a cut to the nose and eyebrow, a swollen nose, and damage to his teeth which will cost thousands of pounds in dental work to repair.

Defence solicitor Sarah Smith said Beveridge, who has previous convictions, wanted to apologise for his actions and felt he was willing and able to reform.

Sentencing him to two years - six months for each of the racial assaults and 12 months for the ABH to run consecutively - Judge Peter Kelson QC told him: “They were members of the travelling community and minding their own business but you were deliberately offensive and made clear you wanted to fight with the 17-year-old.

“Happily you didn’t cause very serious injuries.”