‘Playfight’ leads to court proceedings

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A DRUNKEN ‘playfight’ which got out of hand and ended in a nose bleed has resulted in a suspended prison sentence and a restraining order.

Eric Barnes, of Hamlands Lane, appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (May 17) and admitted assaulting Michelle Edwards by beating.

The court heard 34-year-old Barnes and Miss Edwards were house mates at a property in Kirkstall Close and were drinking heavily in the living room with the other residents of the house on the evening of December 14 when the incident occurred.

The prosecutor said a ‘playfight’ broke out and there was a lot of pushing and shoving between Miss Edwards and Barnes.

However, it got out of hand and Barnes used too much force and grabbed her round the neck. Miss Edwards suffered reddening around the neck and a nose bleed.

Miss Edwards ran upstairs and Barnes’ partner Ms Smith shouted after her not to call the police.

The victim said she felt scared and intimidated after the assault and had been carrying a personal alarm around with her because she feared for her safety.

Stuart Grace, defending, said everyone had been drinking heavily and that police had found it difficult to understand Miss Edwards’ call due to her level of intoxication.

Mr Grace said Barnes needed help from probation and added, “He is entrenched in a particular lifestyle and he needs educating.

“He needs to be taught or told to think before he reacts. He needs assistance in a cognitive therapy style.”

Magistrates sentenced Barnes to a 16-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12-month supervision requirement.

They also imposed a restraining order to stop Barnes from contacting Miss Edwards or loitering outside her two addresses.

Barnes was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation and £150 in court costs.