Unprovoked attack man freed by court

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A THUG who attacked a man for no reason has been given a suspended prison sentence for playing a lesser role in a Doncaster stabbing.

The court accepted Carl Anthony Thomas had left the scene when he realised the victim was bleeding from wounds inflicted by another attacker.

Thomas, aged 28, was one of two men who attacked Ryan Birtles ‘for no apparent reason’ in February last year, Doncaster Crown Court was told.

Mr Birtles and his girlfriend were walking along St James Street, Doncaster, when they paused at a bus stop as a group of six people approached them, said Ben Campbell, prosecuting.

Two of the group came up to the couple, threw Mr Birtles’ girlfriend onto the road, and began punching him a number of times.

A knife was produced and Mr Birtles was stabbed by the other man before they both “left as swiftly as they had arrived”, said Mr Campbell.

Mr Birtles was treated at accident and emergency for cuts to his forehead, nostril, face and forearm.

Thomas, of Staveley Street, Edlington, was arrested the next morning and pleaded guilty to a charge of affray when he appeared in court.

Tim Savage, defending, said Thomas was not aware a knife was going to be produced by the other man.

“As soon as he saw blood he disassociated himself from the incident and left.”

Thomas has a previous conviction for wounding in 2007 for which he was given a suspended jail term.

The judge, Recorder Henry Prosser, said Thomas had clearly played a part in the St James Street incident but it was accepted he had not used a knife.

“This was a serious matter because you and the other man went over to somebody you didn’t know and you assaulted him,” the judge told Thomas.

“This sort of violence in the street has to be marked with imprisonment but it seems to me it is just possible to give you a suspended sentence. This will be the last time.”

Thomas received a 10 month sentence, suspended for two years, and must also complete 150 hours of unpaid community work.

The judge also ordered him to attend a probation programme for five days and pay £200 compensation to Mr Birtles.

“You should pay some compensation to a man who, as far as I can see, was totally blameless,” the judge added.