Jail term for headbutt thug

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A jobless man was locked up for headbutting a youth who tried to calm a squabble in a Ripley street.

The victim noticed his t-shirt was immediately covered by blood and he needed five stitches in an eye wound, a court heard last Thursday.

Judge Hilary Watson told Matthew Roberts: “Some friends said he suggested ‘leave it’ and your attitude was to headbutt him.

“You used your head effectively as a weapon and you have previous convictions in relation to violence.”

Roberts, 23, is currently in prison for an earlier offence. He was jailed for 40 weeks after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm, theft of meat worth £46 and failing to answer bail.

Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, said the attack took place on a man who was “tipsy” after visiting the Crib bar in Ripley on February 16. There had been an argument between two groups in the toilets at about 11.30pm but no violence.

The groups met again in the street and the victim could not recall the clash but a witness said he was “simply trying to calm it down,” said Mr James-Moore. The incident left him “deflated” and lacking confidence when going out.

Chris Hallas, mitigating, told Derby Crown Court that Roberts was also unable to remember the incident but accepted the prosecution case.

“When he is in drink, he gets nasty. When he is not in drink, he is amiable, particularly thoughtful and considerate.

“He knows he needs to work on his alcohol consumption and control his behaviour. Only time will tell whether he is intent upon reforming his behaviour,” added Mr Hallas.

Roberts stole steak and sausages from the Chatsworth Farm Shop.

He told police he was “never going to pay for it because the meat was very expensive and was taking it for a barbecue.”