An offender has narrowly been spared a prison sentence after he was at large for about six months after committing an assault at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, July 27, how Mark Anthony Singleton, 43, had struck a security guard at the hospital but never showed up for his court appearance on January 3 and he became a wanted man.
Singleton, of Almond’s Green, West Derby, Liverpool, told the court he had been caring for his stepfather who had suffered repeated strokes and had suffered brain damage and he wanted to help his mother and niece.
He added: “I was scared I would go to jail. I thought I would help my mum and niece until my step-dad got better because he nearly died and then I would hand myself in.”
The court heard how Singleton had originally assaulted a security guard at the hospital in June, 2016, after security guards tried to detain him following concerns an illegal substance had been passed to someone in the hospital.
Prosecuting solicitor Ruth Snodin said the security guard had been assaulted and been struck to the side of the face and twice to the back of his head.
Following several hearings, Singleton pleaded guilty to assault and his case was adjourned in December for a probation report but he failed to return to court on January 3 for sentencing.
The court heard how a warrant was issued for Singleton’s arrest and he was at large until the latest hearing last Thursday.
Singleton told the court there was a scuffle with the security guard but claimed he did not punch him.
He added that he is ashamed of what happened but claimed he is in a better place now and is having treatment for a long-term heroin addiction.
He said: “I am in a better place and I am on a methadone prescription. I was scared to come to court but I knew this day would come.”
Magistrates sentenced Singleton to eight weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
He was also fined £50 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £50 in compensation.