A man has been jailed for attacking two Jehovah’s Witnesses on a street in Kirkby.
A jury convicted Michael Nimmo (35), of Diamond Avenue, Kirkby, of religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault.
He admitted the assaults but denied any of it was fuelled by religious hostility.
Victim Gerald Thorburn, a self-employed window cleaner, was off work for several weeks after suffering a broken wrist in the daytime assault on Clumber Street on 15th September last year.
Judge Andrew Hamilton, jailing Nimmo for 18 months, told him: “This was a completely unprovoked assault on innocent members of the public who happened to be Jehovah’s Witnesses calling at people’s homes.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses are entitled to walk the street and knock on people’s doors.
“You decided you didn’t like them. You called them ‘Johvos’, were abusive to them and spat at them.”
The jury was told Nimmo ‘got into the faces’ of the two men, asking, ‘what are your views on weed?’
When Mr Thorburn took a photo of Nimmo on his mobile phone, Nimmo grabbed him round the neck and tried to take the phone from him.
Nimmo, in his defence, claimed that when Mr Thorburn spoke to him some spittle accidentally came out, so he spat back. The court was told that Nimmo spat and hit the second man David Wass.
The judge said Nimmo had committed numerous offences in the past and was on prison licence at the time.
The sentence would have been longer but Nimmo had found work and had the support of his partner.