Boasting lout spat at woman

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A MAN who spat at a woman in a supermarket while he carried out unpaid community work has been sentenced to custody.

Ben Webster, 22, of Ramsey Street, Scarborough, had been part of a group carrying out work as part of court orders when the incident happened on July 3 this year.

The woman was shopping when she was approached by Webster, who challenged her about a complaint she had made about him to his then employers, Costa Coffee. He believed she had accused him of spitting in his coffee.

York Crown Court heard that after shouting “Who the hell do you think you are?” Webster stepped in front of the woman as she attempted to walk away, spitting the contents of his mouth into the woman’s face.

John Collins, prosecuting, said Webster had been subject to a suspended prison sentence and an order to do 200 hours’ unpaid work for an offence of inflicting actual bodily harm.

Webster, who had previously admitted a charge of assaulting the shopper by beating, was said to have walked away from the “extremely upset” woman – laughing and boasting to other people about what he had done.

Mr Collins told the court that the suspended sentence, imposed at York Crown Court in March, this year, had been for an offence in which Webster and two others attacked a man in Malton Town Centre, punching, kicking and stamping on him.

Webster, who has made 11 previous court appearances for 13 offences, was said by Stuart Young, mitigating, to “thoroughly regret” his “stupidity” in the supermarket during a lunch break from his community work.

He added that Webster had made a break from the bad company he had been keeping, moving away from Malton, setting up a new home with his girlfriend in Scarborough.

Webster was led to the court cells – in tears – after being sentenced to a total of six months custody – two for the assault on the shopper and four months of the suspended sentence activated.