Court told of malicious attack on rough sleeper
A DRUNK musician who stamped on a rough sleeper's head as she tried to bed down in the Bear Pit has been given a suspended jail term.
Diego Rodriguez inflicted a completely unprovoked attack on Sharon Collins as she attempted to sleep in the underpass at St James Barton, Bristol Crown Court heard.
When she spoke to him after he kicked her to the back of her head, he returned and stamped on her face.
Rodriguez, 33, of Picton Street, Montpelier, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in October last year.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Judge David Ticehurst imposed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He told Rodriguez: "As your barrister said this was a malicious and violent offence.
"This woman was sleeping rough. She regarded an underpass in Bristol as her bedroom.
"She was sleeping on blankets, her head was on a suitcase and she was trying to get some sleep when someone like you comes along and kicks her for no good reason."
The judge ordered Rodriguez to carry out 240 hours' unpaid work for the good of the community and told him to pay £100 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.
James Ward, prosecuting, said Ms Collins, a homeless alcoholic, was lying down in a sleeping bag with her Jack Russell dog at 1.15am when she heard someone behind her and felt a foot hit the back of her head.
Mr Ward said: "She saw a male and said 'OK, thanks, have a good night, leave me alone'.
"The defendant kicked her to the ribs and stamped on her face.
"He told her, 'I'm going to smash your face in'."
The court heard that an "angry" Rodriguez then walked off towards Stokes Croft, where a police CCTV operator spotted him and he was arrested.
Police found Ms Collins' blood on his shoe, the court heard.
Officers spoke to Miss Collins, who suffered facial injuries but declined medical treatment.
Rodriguez told police he got quite drunk, having consumed six or seven pints and two shots, but said he wasn't aggressive and he was too drunk to remember what happened.
Tabitha Macfarlane, defending, said: "This was a cruel offence and Mr Rodriguez was in drink.
"His pre-sentence report says he still has no memory of what happened.
"He is a man of good character apart from a caution five years ago."