COURT: Christmas curfew for handshake thug who punched Harrogate bouncer

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A thug attacked a Harrogate bouncer in the street moments after offering him a handshake, a court heard.

David Metcalfe, 23, and another man wer behind the 51-year-old security guard as he made his way home from a shift at the Fat Badger pub in Cold Bath Road.

“As he was walking back, (the victim) heard voices behind him, saying, ‘Oi, have you got the time?” said barrister Andrew Semple, prosecuting at York Crown Court.

“They seemed drunk so he didn’t answer and continued on his way, but the question was repeated and he heard the sound of (someone) running towards him. He turned round to see two men behind him.”

Metcalfe swore at the doorman and demanded to know why he hadn’t stopped when he asked him the time.

“The victim tried to walk away, but (Metcalfe) shouted to him that he wanted to shake his hand,” said Mr Semple.

Metcalfe followed him and threatened to smash his face in. The victim - who was named in court - pushed him away, but Metcalfe ran at him, punching him three or four times in the face.

The doorman managed to restrain Metcalfe, but as soon as he let go, Metcalfe threw more punches.

He was restrained again and police were called out. Officers arrested him in the street a short time later.

Mr Semple said the unprovoked attack, which happened in the early hours of the morning, left the doorman with marks and bruises to his eye and a lump on his face.

Metcalfe, of Knox Lane, Harrogate, appeared for sentence on Thursday, when the court heard about his violent history and 16 previous convictions for offences such as battery, dangerous driving and being drunk and disorderly.

In December 2012, Metcalfe was given a suspended prison sentence for bottling a man in the street, leaving him with a one-inch gash to the head. As part of the sentence, Metcalfe was given unpaid community work but breached the order.

Metcalfe’s defence counsel said her client, a former builder who now works in factories, was finally showing signs of settling down after years of offending dating back to his youth.

But judge Stephen Ashurst told the father-of-one: “You have racked up many previous convictions, largely due to your heavy drinking and inability to control yourself when out in Harrogate. You pick fights with people.”

For the assault, Metcalfe was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. Mr Ashurst added another 40 hours for the breach of the suspended sentence.

Metcalfe was also put on a nightly curfew, which prohibits him leaving his home between 8pm and 6am for the next three months.

“That means over Christmas and the new year, you will have to remain at your address on an electronic curfew that I hope will prevent others from having the misfortune of coming across you when you are drunk and aggressive,” added Mr Ashurst.