Man hit with metal pole

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A MAN attacked his pal with a metal pole after he was “cheeky” to him, a court heard.

Gary Robinson, 20, assaulted the victim as he walked along John Street, in Sunderland city centre, in a late-night attack on January 18 this year.

Prosecuting, Paul Rowland, told Newcastle Crown Court that the man became aware of Robinson, and possibly another person, behind him at about 10.40pm.

He said: “He walked along the street adjacent to Joplings and was approached by Mr Robinson, whose voice he recognised.

“He said: ‘Give me your money’ and the victim replied ‘No, what are you going to do?’.

“Mr Robinson approached him and pulled out a metal tube from his trousers.”

The victim told police he was struck on the arms and legs about six to eight times during the attack, which only stopped when a vehicle drove down the road which disturbed Robinson.

The pair knew each other from a time when they both lived at Swan Lodge, in Sunderland.

Robinson, of the YMCA, Tower Street, Sunderland, was arrested and admitted assault.

Mr Rowland continued: “He said: ‘It was assault. I hit him with a silver bar because he was being cheeky to me.’”

He told the court that Robinson said he had asked the complainant for a cigarette, and when he was “cheeky”, he began to hit him.

Robinson told police that he had taken the metal pole out with him for his own protection, “in case he got jumped”.

Defending, Christopher Rose, said: “He always, and continues to do so, denies robbery.

“It was an unpleasant offence, but one that thankfully resulted in very slight injuries to the complainant.”

Robinson had no previous convictions at the time of this attack, but has since been convicted of shoplifting.

He admitted assault and being in possession of an offensive weapon.

Mr Rose explained that such was Robinson’s background, it was “significant that he had managed to get through life until the age of 20 without committing the sorts of offences we see so many young people of his background do”.

Judge Rachel Hudson gave Robinson a two-year conditional discharge.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho