Man spat in woman's face after she refused to give him money
PUBLISHED: 17:15 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 07 August 2019
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A man spat in a woman's face after she refused to give him money as she sat on a bench close to Great Yarmouth's tourism hub, a court heard.
Robert Bell was so drunk at the time he only vaguely remembered the incident on June 30.
Bell, 53, of Paget Road, Yarmouth, admitted the behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress although he had little recollection of it.
Prosecuting at the town's magistrates' court on Wednesday, Emma Wright, said Bell approached a woman he did not know sitting on a bench at the junction of Nelson Road Central and Regent Road and asked her for money, spitting in her face and shaking and grabbing her when she refused.
The woman, she said, then met with a friend and saw Bell asking other people for money.
Having confronted him, he spat at her again, she said.
She said: "He had been in the betting shop and had been drinking. He could not really remember much but remembers a female 'starting on him', and denies the grabbing."
James Hartley, defending, said Bell had a problem with alcohol and on the day of the incident ranked himself as a "seven out of ten" in terms of how drunk he was.
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He said: "He thinks it is likely he did ask this lady for money. The officer who dealt with him says he was unsteady on his feet and he thinks he lost his balance and made contact with her.
"As regards the spitting, he may have been making some spit but he does not think it was deliberate."
When arrested he admitted the offence and was apologetic.
Mr Hartley said Bell was trying to tackle his drinking and could go long periods without touching a drop.
Sentencing him chairman of the bench Darren Gilkes, said: "You have shown remorse to probation and you were shocked in your own behaviour.
"The spitting is disgusting, especially when it is someone you do not know, deliberately or otherwise.
"She will remember that for the rest of her life.
"You know your drinking gets you into trouble and you also know you can go without it for a long time. Life throws up a lot of problems. Do not deal with them with drink."
Bell was handed a 12 month community order with 20 days for rehabilitation activities and ordered to pay £325 in compensation, costs and victim surcharge.