Ex-Mansfield man fell off wagon and punched mate

The Co-Op in Huthwaite
The Co-Op in Huthwaite

A former Mansfield man who left the area to start a new drink and drug-free life punched his friend in the face when he returned for a funeral and fell off the wagon.

Jack Burchell was being aggressive to his male and female companions, in the Co-Op shop, in Huthwaite, at 4am, on May 4.

He shouted he was going to knock the man out, then hit him in the face, making him stumble backwards, and knocking items from a shelf.

Burchell was last in court in February for driving while disqualified, and failed to attend a probation meeting for the community order he received, on February 15.

Prosecutor Robert Carr said Burchell had previous convictions for assault in July 2013, and 2017, when he received a suspended prison sentence.

Rebecca Williams, mitigating, said Burchell had been pursued for a £100 debt, and wanted to leave the area because his debtors had targeted him and stolen his partner's car.

She said he moved to Durham, but returned for his partner's grandmother's funeral.

"He hasn't been using illegal substances or drinking alcohol," he said. "On the night of the assault he drank heavily and took cocaine. He reacted badly."

She said there was "no real injury" to the friend and the attack was committed on the "spur of the moment", and he would benefit from a thinking skills course.

Probation officer Cheryl Nisbet said Burchell's probation officer recommended a custodial sentence.

Burchell, 25, of Thomas Street, Durham, admitted assault, and breaching a court order, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

District judge Andrew Meachin said: "You have put yourself in this position . Why on earth it would slip your mind that you happened to move to Durham is beyond me.

"I will give you one final chance."

The judge revoked the community order for the driving offence, and gave him an eight week prison sentence, plus four weeks for the assault, suspended for 12 months.

Burchell was ordered to pay a £115 government surcharge and costs of £85, and must carry out ten rehabilitation days and attend a six month thinking skills programme.