Man headbutted job centre worker and punched friend in street

A foul-mouthed attacker who headbutted a South Tyneside job centre worker almost four years ago - and punched a friend in a street attack - has been spared jail.

Google Streetview image of the job centre in Jarrow
Google Streetview image of the job centre in Jarrow

Robert Douds, 30, attacked his victim after being asked to leave the Ellison Street employment hub, in Jarrow, for swearing, on June 7, 2016.

On the way out, he attacked him and bloodied his nose, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

And on October 6 of the same year, he punched a friend in a Hebburn street the day after a night of boozing, causing swelling to his face.

Douds later absconded, but handed himself in to police on Thursday, April 30.

District Judge Kathryn Meek gave him suspended 20-week jail term, telling Douds, who appeared for the hearing via video link, he had been spared imprisonment in part to committing no further offences.

He must carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and pay Mr McGuigan £100 compensation.

Prosecutor Paul Doney said: “The defendant was asked to moderate his language by job centre staff but continued to swear.

“He made threats towards another member of staff. He headbutted (his victim), giving him a bloodied nose.”

He added: “(His friend) has left a property and walked alone. He heard a voice behind him and recognised the defendant, who punched him to the left side of the face, causing it to swell.”

At an earlier trial, Douds of West Park Gardens, Winlaton, Newcastle, was convicted of assaulting the job centre worker by beating.

At his latest court hearing, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his friend, failing to comply with the requirements of a community order, and absconding.

Amy Lamb, defending, said of the attack on his friend: “He says that it was self-defence.”

Of the assault on the job centre worker, she added: “The incident was not sustained. He’s remorseful for both assaults.”

Douds was given a 16-week sentence for attacking the job centre worker, four weeks for attacking his friend, to run concurrently, and a four-week consecutive term for breaching the requirements of a community order, all suspended.

There was no penalty for absconding, but he must pay £585 court costs.

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