Plaster cast used in fight

James Cheetham of Old Yard Close, Hutton Cranswick, appears at Hull Crown Court for street violence.
James Cheetham of Old Yard Close, Hutton Cranswick, appears at Hull Crown Court for street violence.

A THREATENING yob, who used a plaster arm as a weapon, was told he was the reason decent people do not go out at night in Driffield town centre.

Judge Mark Bury said the fear of becoming involved or witnessing violence like the type James Cheetham, 23, revelled in put people off enjoying Driffield’s late night attractions.

Judge Bury was speaking after watching CCTV of Cheetham aim a penalty-style kick at the head of Wayne Smith.

Smith was laid on the ground surrounded by a mob attacking him and his brother on July 15 in Driffield.

Crown barrister Mark Kendall told Hull Crown Court Cheetham had a plaster pot on his arm and used it to punch one man then launch a kick or a stamp on a male on the ground.

The fighting initially took place in Market Place and moved around the town over 15 minutes of mayhem. Mr Kendall said: “Mr Cheetham swung the plaster cast on his arm on to the head of one man. He fell to the floor and the defendant kicked him to the head three times. He returned and kicked Wayne Smith on the floor.”

He said the Smith brothers were drunk and neither made formal complaints to the police.

He said a female eye witness had been the subject of offensive remarks and telephoned the police.

Cheetham, of Old Yard Close, Hutton Cranswick, appeared at court for sentence on Friday (October 5) after pleading guilty to a single charge of affray. He has a previous police caution for affray when he was caught fighting in the street leaving his victim with a bloody nose.

When approached by police community support officers he swore at them. He also has two further cautions.

Defence barrister Richard Thompson said Cheetham felt aggrieved he was the only one in the dock. He said of the five people initially arrested and charged with offences, he was the only one to face justice.

He said Cheetham was agitated having seen the violence from an upstairs house window. He went out to join in, before returning to the flat and going out again for more.

He said Cheetham had seen a pregnant girl he knew being assaulted.

Sentencing Judge Bury ordered Cheetham to stand as he told him: “You have come very close to going to prison today. You realise that yourself. You have pleaded guilty to a serious offence of affray, that on your part involved kicking a person while on the floor.

“It is behavour like this that stops decent people going into Driffield town centre at night because they don’t want to get involved or witness it.”

He gave Cheetham a 36-week suspended prison sentence and banned him from every pub and restaurant bar in Driffield for 12 months.