Thug who attacked environment officer is sent to jail

A thug who attacked an environment officer in the street forcing him to quit his job has been locked up.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 11:28 am

Samuel Henry Peter Dear punched the man several times and ended up grappling on the floor with him outside the property on Gillann Street in Knottingley in January 2019.

The worker was left with cuts and bruises to his face, and two broken ribs.

The impact of the incident led him to later stepping down from his role on medical grounds.

Gillann Street in Knottingley.

Dear, who is now 23, denied two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the officer and his colleague and stood trial at Leeds Crown Court.

He was found guilty of the assault on the officer, but acquitted on assault involving the victim's colleague.

He was sentenced this morning where the court was told that Dear had "taken exception" to the officer and launched into the attack.

However, it took police officers 18 minutes to reach the scene.

A victim impact statement read out by prosecutor Jade Edwards said the officer had suffered sleepless nights after the attack, had anxiety and anger issues and was undergoing counselling.

Ms Edwards said: "The impact has been great. The complainant has suffered considerable personal injury and it's clearly had an impact. He has had to retire from his job."

Dear, of Station Lane, Featherstone, has two previous convictions for four offences, including two matters of violence.

A probation report suggested that despite being found guilty, dear "has issues with minimising blame", although it noted that he was remorseful.

James Littlehales, who defended Dear, argued that since that incident he has remained out of trouble and was in a stable relationship with his girlfriend.

Although he had last worked as a labourer, he was currently unemployed and Mr Littlehales argued he would be ideal for unpaid work should the judge suspend the inevitable custodial sentence.

But the judge, Recorder Andrew Latimer, felt immediate jail was the only option, handing him a 10-month sentence.

He told Dear: "He was an environment officer standing outside a property. You took exception to him being there.

"His personal statement makes clear the impact it has had.

"It's clear you acted impulsively and had a lack of maturity."