A MAN has been jailed after hitting a delivery driver over the head with a bottle of wine he had stolen from a Stratford shop.
Phillip Nance, of no fixed address, was jailed for two years and ten months after pleading guilty to charges of theft, assault and criminal damage.
In January, the drunken 35-year-old stole two bottles of wine from the convenience store before approaching the driver, who was sat in his car outside the Chinese restaurant he worked for, and demanded a cigarette. He got in the car on the passenger side, and began to get aggressive after the driver told him he did not have one. He got out the car before Nance attacked him.
According to the driver, the bottle broke on impact, but Nance’s barrister Olivia Appleby pointed out: “It is the defendant’s understanding that the bottle didn’t break.”
Nance then punched him twice before being led away by three women he was with, only to turn and walk back to deliver another blow.
He then made off in the company of the women, and was tracked by CCTV cameras before smashing a window of a nearby building, causing £3,100 damage.
When he was interviewed the following day after being arrested, Nance said he could not recall the night’s events, but was apologetic for what he had done, said Prosecutor Naomi Nelson-Cofie.
She added Nance had previous convictions for 35 offences, including robberies in which he was armed with an imitation firearm, burglary and wounding.
Miss Appleby told her: “This was an ugly attack. He feels very ashamed about it.” She added after being released from prison Nance had struggled with his mental health, and after learning he was to be recalled for failing to comply with his licence conditions he began drinking, and the incidents were ‘fuelled by alcohol.’
Jailing Nance, Recorder Michael Duck QC told him: “The most serious offence is the assault.
“You, in the company of three females, walked towards a car, and you got into it. It was occupied by [the victim] who was doing nothing more than his job, sitting outside a Chinese restaurant for which he did some work, waiting for some food to deliver to a customer.
“You began demanding a cigarette. You were aggressive, and he took the wise precaution of getting out. But you climbed over the vehicle and also got out and took one of the bottles you had taken from the store and struck him over the head with it. It’s not clear whether the bottle broke or not, but you carried on and struck another two or possibly three full-blooded punches at him.
“The females in your company appear to have tried to dissuade you, and you walked away, but you then walked back and delivered another full-blooded blow.”
Recorder Duck said he took account of Nance’s mental health and his clear remorse, but added: “I have to bear in mind my public duty. You were in a public place, and you committed a serious act of violence.”