foul-mouthed | 

Thug who battered man with his own walking stick gets just £300 fine in court

John Preshaw attacked the man seven days before Christmas

The garage forecourt

Sunday World

A foul-mouthed thug who battered a man with his own walking stick in a shocking shop attack has told the Sunday World to ‘F**k Off’.

James Preshaw pleaded guilty to assaulting another man, who uses a walking stick, after blowing his top in the queue to pay for petrol.

The 59-year-old went berserk at the Solo/Mace forecourt in Bangor, lashing out at a man with punches and kicks in a senseless row last December.

He even broke the man’s walking stick after using it to bash his rival over his head and before leaving the scene he scattered his shopping all over the forecourt.

As reported in Court News NI, James Preshaw who lives in Bangor, pleaded guilty to assaulting a man just seven days before Christmas.

Preshaw who already had a criminal record before he went ‘Christmas crackers’ 12 months ago, makes cash buying, restoring and reselling old furniture.

A prosecutor told the court the injured party said he made a comment to another customer, Preshaw, in the shop in relation to "social distancing" and the defendant "muttered something under his breath".

At the forecourt, the prosecutor said, the men then had a "verbal altercation" at a vehicle and Preshaw "lashed out," striking him with his elbow.

The prosecutor added: "The defendant punched and kicked the injured party before hitting him with his walking stick over his head and breaking it.

“He then kicked the injured party's shopping across the forecourt".

But an agitated Preshaw told the Sunday World the dispute had nothing to do with social distancing.

When we called at his house he wasn’t at home so we left a note with a contact number – and boy are we glad we didn’t meet him face-to-face!

The garage forecourt

For when he called us a couple of hours later prickly Preshaw went from friendly to frightening in the space of a few seconds.

Initially he seemed happy to tell his side of the story but that soon changed when we asked just how the man was he beat-up.

He also claimed he was acting in self-defence and that the other man, had not only been the aggressor but had also issued threats to him.

“I went in to pay and there was a one-way system operating in the shop because of Covid,” Preshaw told us.

“It was reported that it started over a comment about social distancing but that’s nonsense, it had nothing to do with social distancing, it was about jumping the queue.

“There was a woman walked in front of me and this guy turned up without queuing and the guy behind the counter on the till was oblivious.

“I told the man he’d walked in front of both of us and he told me to ‘F**k off, I’ll get you sorted – he threatened me.

“Then he came out of the shop and he threatened me again. He told me he was going to cut my throat.

“I was defending myself.”

None of that came out during his sentence hearing at Ards Magistrates’ Court last week and while he claims he was not the aggressor Preshaw chose not to fight the charge of assault and pleaded guilty.

There’s no evidence the injured man made any such threats – but Preshaw on the other hand does have a criminal record himself.

Charges of possessing a walking stick as an 'offensive weapon' at the filling station on the Clandeboye Road in Bangor and causing criminal damage to the man's walking stick were withdrawn by prosecutors.

Preshaw’s petulant temper started to fray a after a couple of minutes when we enquired how old was the man he assaulted.

“Well I’m sure you know all the details so do whatever you want but I’m telling you you’d better not put my name in the paper,” said Preshaw.

“I was the target of a loyalist death threat a long time ago and anything that happens to me – you’ll be responsible. I’m going to speak to my solicitor about this.

When we told him his name was already in the public domain for the walking stick attack and that as he was a convicted criminal we had a right to use his name in the paper he replied, “Well then you can just f**k off then,” before he hung-up the phone.

During the court hearing a defence lawyer explained Preshaw had prepaid for fuel and after the "verbal altercation" within the shop, he had been "minding his own business filling up his car when he is approached by the complainant".

The lawyer alleged that the complainant had squeezed past and a petrol cap was "broken off".

The lawyer said Preshaw, had then reacted "badly" and when the walking stick ended up on the ground, the defendant lifted it and struck out at the complainant but, he added, there were "no substantial injuries".

The lawyer said the defendant, who had a record of "considerable vintage," had PTSD as he had been the "victim of serious offences himself in the past" which may explain why he had gone "over the top" during the garage incident.

Preshaw was fined £300.

Steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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