Barnstaple man head butted stranger after ‘four day bender’

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 20-year-old escaped prison after drunken assault on stranger in Barnstaple town centre.

A BARNSTAPLE man has been told to address his issues with alcohol after drunkenly head butting a stranger after a ‘four day bender’.

Edward Boulton, 20, of Miller Crescent, pleaded guilty to assaulting James Hobson on January 4 outside the Olive Branch pub in Barnstaple.

North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Hobson had walked past the pub with his girlfriend at around 11pm and Boulton was stood in the doorway with a woman.

Prosecutor Karen Ball said Boulton shouted abuse at the couple before standing toe-to-toe with Mr Hobson and head butting him on the bridge of his nose.


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Boulton, who is at college studying plumbing, told the probation service he felt remorseful and was seeking help from his GP for anger management.

After hearing his previous convictions, lead magistrate Michael Buckley told Boulton he should ‘pack his suitcase’ if he ever appeared in court for a similar offence again.

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“If you come back to court again for an offence such as this, there’s a very, very grave danger you will finish off in prison,” he said.

“Your record of offences at such a young age is nothing to be proud of.

“You’re sailing very close to the wind and you need to prove to yourself and others you can behave in a responsible and adult manner.”

Boulton was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and 120 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £50 in compensation to Mr Hobson.

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