A man assaulted his girlfriend with a can of energy drink before spitting in the face of a stranger – an 11-year-old girl – who was passing the incident.
Corey Gunn, 23, appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Friday, 18 November) where he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating.
Crown prosecutor Charles Nightingale said the defendant, of County Road, Swindon, has been arguing with his now ex-girlfriend over money owed to her.
During the public dispute on 31 May, Gunn became aggressive, called her a “slut”, spat at her and moments later launched a can of Monster energy drink at her.
The can – believed to be unopened at the time – smacked her in the upper back. He picked up the can once again throw it at her, striking her on her upper leg.
“She suffered significant and instant pain and began to cry”, Mr Nightingale said.
An 11-year-old girl – a complete stranger to Gunn – began cycling past the assault. He made grunting noises at her before spitting at her, with the spittle landing on her face.
The youngster told police during a video statement that she felt “frightened”. Mr Nightingale said that the incident has had a “significant impact on her”.
Emma Thacker, defending, said her client – who is also awaiting sentencing for assaulting a police officer – was on a cocktail of drugs at the time of the assaults.
“He is a young man with complex needs, anger issues and mental health issues which have been escalating for some time”, she told the court.
Adding: “He is easily led by people in the community and has unfortunately swayed towards using heroin and crack cocaine.”
Mr Thacker told of how Gunn is awaiting brain scans over fears he may suffer from cognitive disorder.
Probation officer Michelle James asked the bench to consider a sentence that does not interfere with their ongoing efforts to support him in getting his life back on track, adding that he has been attending all appointments and “is doing well with us”.
Magistrate Mina Searles labelled the incidents as “the most unpleasant experience” for those involved.
She sentenced Gunn to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended 24 months and a 24-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Mrs Searles also imposed a 12-month restraining order preventing him from contacting his ex-girlfriend or attending her address in Bath Road, Old Town.
“Mr Gunn, this is your last chance, be under no illusion,” she remarked.