Man, guilty of assault and harassment, blames alcohol

PUBLISHED: 13:01 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

A MAN who assaulted two other men and harassed a special constable was given an 18-month community order by magistrates on Thursday. Philip Mark Catling, who gave a Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire address in court, but who is living in this area with friends, h

A MAN who assaulted two other men and harassed a special constable was given an 18-month community order by magistrates on Thursday.

Philip Mark Catling, who gave a Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire address in court, but who is living in this area with friends, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of assault, one of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and four of theft. All the offences took place between January 27 last year and February 22 this year.

The court heard how 20-year-old Catling, who is currently serving a 35-day prison term for non-payment of fines, left Howard Clarke with bruising under his right eye, a broken nose and a chipped tooth after one assault on January 27 last year. Clarke had been waiting in a taxi outside the Townhouse pub in Ely when he was approached by Catling, who asked him: "What the f*** are you looking at?"

He then put his fist through the door of the taxi to punch Mr Clarke.

In the second assault on April 21, Ian Thompson rushed to the aid of a woman who was being harassed by Catling outside the High Flyer pub in Ely, only to be punched himself. The previous day, Catling had verbally abused a special constable in Victoria Street, Littleport, telling her: "Cambridgeshire Police are w****** and c***. What if I hit you over the head with this bottle?"

On three separate occasions, Catling stole beer from the Co-op in Littleport - a bottle of beer worth £3.58 on January 27 last year, four cans of lager worth £4.29 on March 1 last year and two packs of lager valued at £23.98 on Valentine's Day this year.

In addition, he also stole a box of lager worth £9.98 from Forbuoys eight days later.

Solicitor Robert Milson said in his defence: "My client fully agrees that these incidents were drink-related.

"My client has a mix of problems. The one with alcohol has been exacerbated by lack of proper accommodation.

"He has been alcohol-free while in prison but he is sensible enough to know that this is just the beginning. This is a man who has got to the stage of frankly acknowledging his problems."

Chairman of the bench, Sue Griffin, told Catling: "You can't go on behaving like this, can you?

"It is time to start taking responsibility for your life and actions."

For the crimes committed on or after April 4, Catling was given an 18-month community order.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Clarke and £75 to Mr Thompson and £75 costs.

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