Thug jailed for seven months

BTB71A Judge holding gavel in courtroom. Image shot 2010. Exact date unknown.
BTB71A Judge holding gavel in courtroom. Image shot 2010. Exact date unknown.

A drunken racist thug who attacked a hospital security guard near mums and new babies at a maternity unit has been locked up.

Lawless drug user Kyle Stuart Turner (21) punched John Westwell in the face after threatening to smash up the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital. The defendant then turned on two Asian guards who detained him, hurling a torrent of offensive, foul-mouthed racial abuse in full view of families with children in the grounds of the hospital, the town’s magistrates heard.

Turner struck just two months before terrorising and assaulting his ex-partner, the mother of his child, on Boxing Day. The yob had tried to spray deodorant under her bedroom door after she barricaded herself in. Less than a week after that he had thumped an innocent taxi driver in the face, busting his lip in the early hours of New Year’s Day, the court was earlier told.

Jobless Turner was spared jail for the attacks on his ex-partner and the cabbie, Allah Ditta. On February 24th, he was given a suspended sentence, with a five year restraining order to protect his ex-partner. He was banned from contacting her and from going within 100 metres of her home.

But, he has now been jailed for a total of 28 weeks for flouting the restraining order just 10 days later and after the violent outburst at the hospital. Turner, who was also in breach of three conditional discharges for being drunk and disorderly and possessing cannabis, received another 12 month conditional discharge.

Turner, who JPs have said has a “total disregard for the law”, admitted assaulting Mr Westwell by beating and using racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, on October 23rd. The defendant had denied the allegations and owned up on the day of trial. Turner, of Lime Street, Clitheroe, also pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order on March 5th. He has more than 30 offences on his record, including several for battery.

Prosecutor Enza Geldard told the latest hearing that on February 24th, Turner received 16 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The victim, who described Turner as her ex-partner, arrived home in the early hours on March 5th. The defendant had been returning to her address, but she had been too frightened to call the police. The victim said: “I am in fear of any consequences should he turn on me.”

She got out of a friend’s car and the defendant suddenly appeared and stood behind her. He followed her in her home and tried to close the front door. She fled from the property, leaving Turner in the house, got in her friend’s car and they drove off. The victim said: “It took me a lot to ring the police because I’m very frightened of Turner and what he will do. I am afraid to go home.”

Mrs Geldard said on October 23rd, hospital security staff were called to the grounds of the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at about 7-50 pm. Turner was drunk and had been abusive to staff nurses.

Mr Westwell attended with two of his colleagues and nursing staff pointed out the defendant. The prosecutor continued: “Turner was swearing and threatening people, shouting ‘I am going to smash this place up’.”

Mr Westwell followed the defendant and tried to calm him down and talk to him, but Turner responded: “I’ll knock you out.” At the entrance, he turned round and punched Mr Westwell to the right hand side of the face, causing soreness.

Mrs Geldard said Turner ran off and on the main hospital road, tried to punch the guard again, but was detained by his colleagues. The prosecutor went on: “The other guards were Asian and whilst on the floor, he continued to be verbally abusive, in full view of families with children in the hospital grounds. He was shouting racial abuse.”

The earlier hearing before the justices was told how Turner flew into a rage at his ex-partner’s home because their toddler knocked over an open bottle of wine left on the floor.

He admitted assaulting his ex-partner by beating her, possessing cannabis and damage to a door, on December 26th and assaulting Mr Ditta by beating on December 31st.

Prosecutor Tracy Yates told that hearing that Turner went to his ex-partner’s home by agreement last Christmas Eve, ended up staying Christmas Day and there was an argument on Boxing Day after the wine was tipped over. He became aggressive and began shouting and being abusive.

Mrs Yates continued: “He allegedly threw a bottle at the aggrieved, but missed. She went upstairs with the child. She was scared. He followed and he further assaulted her by punching her to the arms and neck and kicking her in the hip and upper body.”

The prosecutor said: “When police were called, he then fled, but returned to collect his cannabis. Police were called again and located him upstairs in a bedroom. He became violent with police on arrest.”

Mrs Yates said when the defendant was interviewed, he denied the assault on his ex partner and the damage, saying he had only had three cans and was sober. She added: “He said she was a jealous person and she hit him to the side of the face and he pulled her to the floor in self defence.”

The prosecutor said the defendant was bailed not to enter Haslingden and at 2-15 am on New Year’s Eve, Mr Ditta picked up a man, two females and a young child to take them there. When they arrived, the women got out and started getting things out of the boot. The victim said the male was leaning over, was aggressive and was shouting at the child. One of the females opened the door and grabbed the youngster, the taxi driver helped the women get a pram and other equipment out of the boot and the man was arguing with them.

Mrs Yates said: “Mr Ditta says without warning and without saying anything the male approached him and punched him hard to the face once. This knocked him backwards. He was shocked. He had not been involved in the argument at all, he had only assisted the passengers with their luggage. The male continued to argue with the females.”

Mrs Yates told the court a previous Bench had said Turner had a “total disregard for the law”.

Ben Leech, in mitigation at the latest hearing, said Turner accepted when spoken to by the probation service he had an issue with alcohol. He had received the suspended sentence because of his misuse of drink and his inability to function properly when using it.

The defendant was taking a far more pragmatic view of the situation he found himself in. He had been in custody for four days and had had some time to address the mistakes he had made in his lifestyle and address what happened at the hospital. The solicitor said: “He again is remorseful and regrets the situation in which he finds himself.”

Mr Leech continued: “He was spoken to by security officers. He was asked to leave. He should have done so. He then described simply losing his temper when he was manhandled by a number of security guards. He reacted badly to them.”

The solicitor, who said Turner had “come to his senses” and entered guilty pleas, added: “I am not instructed to give excuses. He was in a difficult place at the time and using alcohol far too readily and again it’s the alcohol consumption he needs to address.”

The Bench chairman told Turner he had failed to comply with previous court orders, had a history of offences of violence and Mr Westwell was a public servant carrying out his duty. He added: “This was on hospital premises and in the presence of mothers and babies.”