Spitting yob avoids jail term

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man who admitted spitting in the face of his neighbour and so breached a court injunction has been given a community sentence.

Wigan magistrates heard troubled Stephen Boyce attacked Mark Fox by trying to punch him before he spat onto his cheek.

The court was told Mr Fox was woken at about 7am on August 5 by Boyce, of Lowton Road, Golborne, banging and shouting.

The noise continued for around an hour until Mr Fox came downstairs because Boyce, 45, was on the pavement outside his home swearing and using threatening language. He went out to speak to him but was suddenly attacked, although Fox managed to dodge the blow from Boyce’s fist.

Prosecuting, Nicola Ormerod told the court an injunction had been taken out by Fox and his wife due to Boyce’s behaviour, which was made worse by his mental health problems.

Boyce had already admitted assault and also possessing heroin after police found the drug in his trouser pocket.

The court was told Boyce heard voices in his head and his problems sometimes caused him to act in an embarrassing way or without realising what he was doing.

Bill Pearson, defending, said: “He realises he has several issues he needs help with. He needs to do something about it. He is now subject to a suspended sentence for breaching the order and if he misbehaves again towards his neighbours he will be going to prison. He is walking on eggshells as far as his behaviour is concerned.

“The complainant seems sensible and understanding of the issues and he and his wife are doing their best to make allowances.

“This is a serious matter, nobody is saying anything else. Spitting is particularly distasteful.”

Boyce was given a nine-month community order with 10 days of activities and a six-month drug rehab requirement. He was also fined £40 and ordered to pay £75 in compensation, £85 in costs and an £85 victim’s surcharge.

The magistrates also ordered the heroin to be destroyed.