Teenager faces jail over attack on man

PUBLISHED: 07:34 13 March 2019

Cohan Semple in a hooded jacket leaving a previous court hearing. 
 Picture: ARCHANT

Cohan Semple in a hooded jacket leaving a previous court hearing. Picture: ARCHANT


A teenager who took part in an a “flour bombing” attack on a woman in Bury St Edmunds has been warned he is a facing a custodial sentence for an assault on a man three months later.

Cohan Semple lost his job and college place and was subjected to “worldwide opprobrium” for his part in the attack on the 49-year-old woman on July 27 last year.

Semple, 18, of Wilcox Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, subsequently admitted using threatening, abusive or disorderly and in December he was given a 12-month community order, 60 hours of unpaid work and a 20 hour rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation.

On Tuesday, March 12 at a plea hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, Semple admitted assaulting Matthew Banks causing him actual bodily harm on October 15 last year.

Also before the court, via a prison video link, was Sam Mills, 20, of no fixed address, who has admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Banks on October 15 last year.

Mills has also admitted causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress to a police officer on the same date.

Judge John Devaux adjourned sentence on both defendants until the week commencing April 15 and asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Semple.

He warned Semple that a custodial sentence was inevitable and said the probation report would address the length of sentence rather than the type.

In December last year magistrates heard the victim of the flour bombing had been sitting on a bench off St Olaves Road on July 27 last year when she was approached by a group of youths, including Semple, who asked if she wanted to buy drugs and then spat on her.

Some of the group disappeared, before returning with eggs and flour, which they threw over her - an act captured on camera by Semple, who shared the photo with about 20 Snapchat contacts – one of whom posted the image on Facebook.

Declan Gallagher, for Semple, told the magistrates on that occasion that his client wasn’t among the trio who went to buy the flour and eggs from a nearby Spar.

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