'Prostitute' insult leads to violent takeaway attack in Blackpool

Crown Court
Crown Court
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A gay jibe made by a woman sparked a violent attack in a takeaway.

The customer had asked two men in the Popeye's takeaway on Church Street, Blackpool, how long they had "been together".

Plumber Julian Spearman, 31, of Saville Road, South Shore, Blackpool, launched a violent attack on Jonathan Warburton after he retorted: " How long have you been a prostitute?"

Preston Crown Court heard the incident happened on September 3 at around 2.40am.

The victim and his friend had been out after drinking together at home earlier in the evening.

During the incident at Popeye's the woman, a friend of the defendant, took offence to their rude reply and left to get a taxi.

Spearman then came back and punched Mr Warburton three times, knocking him to the floor face down.

As the man tried to get up he was kicked in the head.

Raging Spearman then took a flying kick at his victim which also connected with his head.

He was punched several more times and was left unconscious, face down on the floor.

Prosecuting, Lucy Coulson said: "The defendant then leaves the takeaway before coming back and punching him three more times.

"He appears to regain consciousness and he kicks him again."

Mr Warburton said he had very little recollection of the incident but suffered a black eye, bruising, cuts and headaches.

When arrested he claimed to have acted in self defence, but later pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard Speakman, who has one previous conviction for drink driving, has a six-year-old stepson and a two month old son.

Jack Troup, defending, said: " He is ashamed of his behaviour.

"A comment was made to the lady but that in no way excuses his behaviour, he only offers it as an explanation for how he lost control in that situation.

"This offence is completely out of character for this gentleman. He is a hard working family man."

Recorder David Swinnerton agreed to suspend his six month sentence for two years, but said: "I hope you realise how disgraceful your behaviour was that night.

"Whatever rude comment was passed to a friend of yours, that nowhere near justifies your actions. People make rude comments in drink in restaurants late at night. You should have dealt with it a lot better than that.

"You are lucky the injuries suffered by Mr Dugdale were as minor as they were. These courts deal frequently with situations like that where people die, and you'd have been facing a murder charge.

"You took that risk when you were continuing to punch him and continued to kick him when he was face down on the floor, unconscious."

He also imposed a curfew and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Spearman must pay £500 compensation and £340 costs.