Man hit pensioner after bumping shoulders in arcade

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A WIGAN man in his 60s lashed out at another pensioner and knocked his glasses off after a confrontation sparked by a simple clash of shoulders.

David Hibbs struck Philip Eatock, 65, to the side of the head from behind following a row in Wigan town centre.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the two men, who do not know each other, were walking towards each other in one of the arcades when they bumped shoulders.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told how Hibbs, 62, then said to Mr Eatock “get out of my way”, verbally abused him and confronted him “nose to nose”.

Then, when Mr Eatock turned and started walking away, the defendant followed him and struck him to the side of the head from behind - knocking his glasses to the ground.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Eatock told how the assault had left him upset and had caused soreness to the temple area on the right hand side of his head.

One witness described the assault as “a cowardly act” and another described the strike, which Hibbs insisted was with an open hand, was a punch.

When quizzed by police, Hibbs, of Beech Hill Avenue, claimed Mr Eatock had verbally abused him and that he had struck him to “chill him out”.

Colin Rawson, defending, told how his client pleaded guilty on the basis that words were spoken by both parties following the accidental coming together and that the assault had caused little damage.

He added that his client was at pains to point out that he was “not a violent person” despite admitting the attack.

Magistrates handed Hibbs a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £50 compensation to Mr Eatock, £35 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.