Thug jailed after bottle attack on lone shopkeeper

David Bates
David Bates

Warning after theft from Fareham car

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A THUG who smashed a bottle over a shopkeeper’s head has been jailed for 16 months.

David Bates was drunk when he went into Liquor Land, in London Road, North End, late at night with two friends.

While his pals hassled Ankit Mistry, who was working alone, Bates went to the back of the shop and grabbed two bottles of beer.

Fearing for his safety, Mr Mistry tried to call the police but Bates calmly walked to the till before smashing one of the bottles over Mr Mistry’s head.

The three men then fled the store and Bates, 26, thew the second bottle at his victim.

It narrowly missed.

Mr Mistry needed stitches to a small cut on his head after the attack in November last year.

Rupert Kent, defending, said Bates suffered from a condition called general anxiety disorder and he drank before leaving his home.

‘Alcohol plays a great part in this young man’s life, he uses it to self-medicate,’ he said.

He added: ‘He can’t remember what he did on the night in question. He is shocked and appalled.’

Bates, of Oakwood Road, Hilsea, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Roger Hetherington said he accepted Bates suffered from anxiety and that he had a drink problem.

He said: ‘The difficulty I face is that many people who drink to excess and have difficulties in their life may go off the rails to an extent and involve themselves in stupid enterprises but they do not behave so violently in the way that you did, risking very serious injury.’

He added: ‘It is little short of a miracle that he sustained only minor injuries to his face.

‘The seriousness of this offence is such that it can only be met by an immediate custodial sentence and the public would be horrified if an offence like this was dealt with by way of a suspended sentence.’

As the judge handed down his sentence, Bates interrupted, saying: ‘Can I just say I’m sorry.’