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Newmarket: Assault victim asks for compensation to leave area

17:38 01 February 2013

West Suffolk Magistrates

West Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A MAN has asked for compensation to allow him to move away from a west Suffolk town after he was assaulted while on a night out.

West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court was told that David Coughlin, of Rowley Drive, Newmarket, who admitted assault, had punched Rodney O’Brien on July 7 last year.

A victim statement from Mr O’Brien, which was read to the court, claimed that the 42-year-old had also threatened to set him on fire.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, said that Mr O’Brien had been drinking in the Golden Lion pub with a friend and had left at about 11.45pm.

She told the court that the defendant had then approached and asked for a cigarette before becoming verbally and physically abusive, leaving Mr O’Brien with a head injury.

Miss Cappleman, reading from Mr O’Brien’s statement, said: “During the incident the offender threatened to set me on fire. I’m very frightened. I’m frightened to leave my address.”

Mr O’Brien said he had started drinking more after the assault and thought about it “all the time”. He added that his relationship had become strained and he was having trouble sleeping.

“I would like compensation to assist with my treatment and get away from Newmarket,” he said.

Jeremy Kendall, mitigating, said Coughlin was annoyed with O’Brien about a conversation he had held with his ex-partner. He added: “My client had been drinking. He has no previous record for violence and he accepts his behaviour was out of character and unacceptable.”

Coughlin will be sentenced on February 12.

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