'Tough man' avoids jail after assaulting four teenagers in Horncastle
A MAN who bragged that he 'owned' Horncastle, has received a suspended prison sentence after admitting assaulting a group of teenagers.
Jonathan Paul Naughton, 30, of Holly Close, admitted assaults by beating on four teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when he appeared before District Judge Lawrence at Skegness Magistrates Court.
He had previously denied the offences and a charge of sexual assault against one of the teenagers was dismissed after no evidence was offered. He did admit a charge of assaulting her by beating.
Prosecuting, David Beal said the teenagers, all aged 14 to 16, were congregated around a bench in Horncastle town centre between 5pm and 6pm on October 29 last year.
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He said Naughton was 'out and about' in Horncastle dressed in combat gear.
He said the teenagers were not interfering with anyone, but Naughton thought he was being stared at and went across to them 'at speed.'
He pushed his way through to a 15-year-old boy, head-butted him in the face and tried to hit him with a bag of shopping.
Naughton then 'sounded off' about being a 'tough man' and that he 'owned Horncastle'.
A 15-year-old girl, who had her arm in a sling, stood up to Naughton and he hit her in the face and on the arm.
The youngsters then took refuge in a nearby kebab takeaway and what then happened was recorded on the takeaway's CCTV camera.
Naughton was seen outside calling on the group, including a 14-year-old girl.
The girl with a sling went out and stood in front of the 14-year-old to defend her and Naughton pushed past her, reached round and pinched the 14-year-old's bottom, at which the older girl launched a blow at him.
He went for her and pushed her out of view of the CCTV camera.
Several people rang the police who arrived and arrested Naughton.
Mr Beal said Naughton could not give any coherent account of his actions.
In mitigation, Ian Benton said it had been Naughton's perception, brought on by the alcohol he had drunk, that he had been verballed, but he now accepted it was wrong.
Sentencing Naughton to eight weeks custody on each of the charges, suspended for two years, the judge said the victims must have had a 'terrible time'.
He also ordered Naughton be supervised by the probation service for two years and attend a 'thinking skills' programme.
He was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and pay £50 compensation to the girl who was injured.