A COLCHESTER drug addict and shoplifter has been jailed for nine months after attacking a vulnerable man with learning difficulties in the city centre.

Terry Poole, 39, appeared in the dock at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft.

The court heard Poole was walking along the High Street at about 1.15am on May 24 with the complainant, who has learning difficulties, walking behind him.

Poole said to have asked the man to leave him alone, and when he did not do so, “in the heat of the moment” he pushed the victim up against a shopfront, causing a gash to his head before kicking him while he was on the ground.

The victim’s mobile phone fell from his pocket, which Poole took.

Poole was arrested and has since shown considerable remorse, the court was told.

Poole’s representation said he had struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol for most of his life, and at the time of the incident was “clearly not in the best of mindsets”.

The court heard both men had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

The court head Poole, who is from Colchester, is currently serving a 20-week custodial sentence for shoplifting charges.

Judge David Wilson sentenced Poole to 12 months imprisonment for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm offence, which he reduced to nine in light of his guilty plea.

Poole will serve half his sentence in custody. No separate penalty was made for the theft, to which Poole had also pleaded guilty.

A payment of £187 will be made to the victim following Poole’s release from jail.