Man assaulted couple during row on Christmas Eve

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A MAN has narrowly avoided going to jail for his involvement in a fight on Christmas Eve and a string of motoring offences.

Scott Gray, 25, of Howe Road, appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced yesterday.

A previous court hearing found Gray guilty after hearing how he attacked Lauren Woodford and her boyfriend Michael Savage as they made their way to Miss Woodford’s mother’s house after a night out at The Cocked Hat pub.

Gray had pleaded not guilty to the two assaults, which took place at around 11.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Giving evidence at a previous trial Mr Savage said the couple had been feeling happy as it was the first Christmas they had spent together and that they had been in the pub with friends, sharing a bottle of wine.

When the couple were within a few doors of her mother’s house in Griffin Walk, Gosport, they had run into Gray who falsely accused Miss Woodford of hitting his girlfriend.

Miss Woodford said: ‘I know what Scott’s like and that he was more likely to attack Mike than me, but I knew that he was looking for a fight.

‘I said to Mike to take my keys and go indoors so that I could try to talk Scott down.

‘Scott thought that I had hit his girlfriend and he said “for that I am going to hit Mike”.

An argument followed which led to Gray striking Mr Savage, who hit back in self-defence. Miss Woodford was pushed to the floor and a fight ensued until her mother came out from the house and brought the pair inside.

Once indoors, Mrs Woodford called the police and she told the court she had heard Gray kicking her front door.

Gray was also sentenced for a string of driving offences.

He had pleaded guilty at a previous trial for driving a car without a licence and insurance, and for driving without due care and attention.

The court heard how Gray suffered from depression and was unemployed but was due to start work on Monday and that any jail term would affect his ability to care for his child with an ex-partner.

Gray was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was given a 13-week curfew between 10pm and 5am. He will have to pay a £80 victim surcharge and £20 costs, which was set low due to his financial status.