Jail for Lights attack

Neil Meredith
Neil Meredith
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A MAN who kicked and punched an Illuminations street vendor, has been jailed for four years.

A court heard how traffic on Blackpool Promenade had to stop when the victim ended up in the roadway, with the two culprits standing over him.

Two people went to the man’s aid and witnesses gave chase after the offenders.

One of them, Neil Meredith, threw £30 pounds from the stolen money at them.

Meredith, 38, of Windsor Avenue, Blackpool had pleaded guilty to the robbery which was carried out on October 1st last year.

Robert Smith, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, told how the street vendor was selling electrical toys during the illuminations and had situated himself outside the Lords hotel on the Promenade.

He had finished trading, packed up his trolley for the night and was about to leave when two men approached him. One of them was Meredith.

Mr Smith told the court “They indicated they were from the police and wanted to see his trader’s licence.

“The man refused the request which was repeated by the man with the defendant”.

Merdedith then said “You’re an immigrant. You have no papers and you have no trader’s licence. Just give us the money and go”.

The man refused to hand over any money and tried to ring the police on his mobile. The defendant picked up some of his lights and tried to hit him with them.

The other offender dragged him to the ground and both men kicked and punched him while he was on the ground.

Meredith put a hand to his pocket and removed £270 cash, some of which was then handed to the second man before they left.

The latter part of the incident had been witnessed by people sat outside the New Ocean Hotel.

The trader had suffered injuries which included swelling to his head, tenderness to his jaw and neck pain.

Meredith had more than 100 previous offences on his record, though none for robbery.

Janet Ironfield, defending, conceded it was a serious example of street robbery. What happened had occurred on impulse.

“The defendant and the other man had been drinking to excess earlier that day.

“This type of offending is out of character for him. He is sorry and remorseful for committing this offence”.