Yob who attacked Sunderland shopkeeper when asked to leave store is spared jail

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An attacker headbutted and punched a frightened shopkeeper to the ground outside his store then went back the next day to show off the bloodstained pavement to a pal.

Brave Habib Naseri fought off Lewis Ambler’s attack using a “wet floor” sign from his shop, but still ended up bleeding on the ground with a cut lip that needed stitched.

The brutal violence outside the A1 store at High Street, West, Sunderland, was captured on CCTV, which was shown at Newcastle Crown Court today.

The court was also shown footage of Ambler returning to the scene of the attack the next day, wearing shorts but no shirt, and pointing out the blood on the pavement to a pal.

Prosecutor Neil Jones told the court: “The next day he comes back to the shop and is seen to inspect blood traces on the pavement with some degree of pleasure, effectively showing off to a friend.

“He was walking past it and putting his training shoe on the traces of blood on the pavement.”

The court heard Mr Naseri had asked 20-year-old Ambler, who was carrying an opened bottle of whiskey, to leave his shop on July 22 last year.

The shopkeeper had told Ambler he “didn’t want any trouble” during his attempts to get him out.

Mr Jones added; “The defendant leaned across the counter and headbutted Mr Naseri to the forehead.

“Mr Naseri then said he didn’t want any trouble again and walked to the door, asking the defendant to leave his premises.

“Once outside the defendant headbutted Mr Naseri again to the forehead.”

Footage of the attack shows Mr Naseri being punched to the ground, despite his efforts to defend himself.

In a victim statement, Mr Naseri said he was concerned about his and his shop’s future safety.

Mr Jones added: “Mr Naseri was doing his job, serving the public. In a sense there was deliberate targeting of him. He’s a sitting duck essentially.”

Joe Hedworth, defending, said Ambler has now left the area and turned his life around.

He told the court; “He accepts his behaviour was totally unacceptable.

“It would appear he completely over-reacted when asked to leave the store by the shopkeeper.”

Mr Recorder Miller adjourned the case until next February to give Ambler a chance to prove he can stay out of trouble.

The judge told him: “To an extent, what happens to you is up to you.”

Ambler, of East Vines, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to assault at an earlier hearing.