Drunken man head-butted innocent Hipperholme woman on her doorstep

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A 22-year-old man who carried out a bizarre attack on Christmas Day has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Thomas Collins had been drinking Jack Daniels with family members, but late on Christmas Day last hear he turned up drunk at the home of 49-year-old Evelyn Barraclough.

Bradford Crown Court heard today (Tuesday) that Mrs Barraclough, of Wakefield Road, Hipperholme, did not know Collins, but tried to be helpful as he asked for directions.

“As she tried to give directions the defendant, without warning, head-butted her once to the right side of her head,” said prosecutor Stephanie Hancock.

“The force (of the blow) caused her to bang the left side of her head on the door frame.”

Mrs Barraclough’s husband and son-in-law physically restrained Collins until police officers arrived at the house.

Miss Hancock said Collins’ behaviour continued to be unpredictable and aggressive following his arrest.

The court heard that Mrs Barraclough suffered swelling to both sides of her head as well as pain and tenderness in her neck.

In a victim impact statement she described how she had suffered anxiety and sleep deprivation along with severe headaches.

In his police interview Collins, of Shelf Hall Lane, Halifax, said he had drunk about a quarter of a litre of Jack Daniels and couldn’t remember getting a taxi to his own home.

Miss Hancock said the defendant was apologetic and demonstrated remorse for the incident.

Collins pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and his solicitor/advocate Christopher Haddock said the offence involved a bizarre set of circumstances.

“Mr Collins has taken this incident very seriously because he doesn’t understand it himself and wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Mr Haddock.

Judge Robert Bartfield described Collins’ behaviour as disgusting and added:”When you say afterwards that you couldn’t remember it I don’t believe you.

“I think you could remember it but preferred not to.”

The judge said there had to be a prison sentence, but the eight-month jail term could be suspended for a year.

Collins will have to do 150 hours unpaid work for the community and comply with a 35-day activity requirement aimed at addressing his behaviour.