Thug who beat up traffic warden is jailed for assault

Darryl McFarlane
Darryl McFarlane
Swansea City Centre. Credit: Wiki Commons (Labelled for reuse)

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A THUG who punched and kicked a traffic warden because he was angry at being asked to move his car has been jailed.

Darryl McFarlane attacked Matthew Read and only stopped when shocked members of the public dragged him away.

The 26-year-old had parked his car in Bulbeck Road, Havant, while he waited for his girlfriend Amy Williams to come back from the nearby shops.

He was sat in his silver VW Golf with the couple’s newborn baby, who was unwell.

When Mr Read asked McFarlane to move he ignored him, saying: ‘Try and come near my vehicle and see what I do to you.’

As the traffic warden began entering the car’s details into his handheld computer McFarlane got out and shouted abuse at him.

Fearing for his safety Mr Read called the police but McFarlane, who has previous convictions for robbery and assaulting police, told him: ‘I don’t care about the police.’

He then punched him to the head a number of times, dragged him across the pavement by his collar and kicked him, before two passers-by intervened.

Ben Kaplinsky, defending, said unemployed McFarlane was stressed because his baby was unwell.

‘He had lost a lot of sleep, his nerves were fraught,’ he said.

McFarlane, of Fiddler Close, Selsey, near Chichester, initially denied the offence but he pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm just before the start of his trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The attack, which happened on the morning of October 31 last year, left Mr Read with a cut to his nose and bruising, the court heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Jewell said the victim is now scared to do his job and has lost his confidence.

Jailing McFarlane for six months Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘This was a serious matter because it was committed against a traffic warden trying to carry out his ordinary functions.

‘I accept that you were under stress at the time and probably lacking in sleep.

‘All of that would excuse becoming annoyed and frustrated at the situation that you found yourself in.

‘But what it doesn’t excuse is what you went on to do, which was a sustained assault involving several punches, taking him to the ground, dragging him along the ground and then kicking him in full view of members of the public who would have been absolutely horrified at what they saw.

‘In my view the courts must do what they can by their sentences to show that that sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.’