Nurse-attack man’s ‘softer’ court sentence

Scarborough Magistrates Court
Scarborough Magistrates Court

A MAN who assaulted a nurse at Scarborough Hospital has been given a softer sentence – after he committed even more crimes.

Ben Price-Stephens, 22, of Racecourse Road in East Ayton, had been ordered to carry out community service last month for assaulting the staff member outside Scarborough’s accident and emergency department.

He hit the nurse after he was fished from Peasholm Park lake in a heavily intoxicated state and taken to hospital on September 30.

Price-Stephens was then hauled before the courts again after he committed a public order offence by hitting someone and was caught in possession of drugs.

However, after hearing about Price-Stephens’ mental state, magistrates revoked the original order and told him he would not have to carry out a minute of unpaid work.

Instead, he was given a new “tailor-made” sentence which chairman of the bench Catriona Warnock-Smith said had been made to suit his interests. Under the new 12-month order, he will only have to undergo supervision from the probation service.

Probation officer Malcolm Davidson said: “His mother says his medication just wears him out. He doesn’t feel he will be able to do unpaid work.”

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court was also told by Mr Davidson that Price-Stephens was depressed and had made a suicide attempt in the past.

Giving details of the latest offences, to which Price-Stephens pleaded guilty, Katy Varlow said: “It was 3am on September 24 and the victim was out and about in the town centre. He was assaulted by another man and then Ben Price-Stephens also hit him.”

The man had not wanted to make a complaint of assault but the case was recorded on CCTV, leading to the prosecution.

Price-Stephens was then found with two valium tablets after he was searched at Vivaz nightclub in Huntriss Row on December 11.

Marcus Topham, mitigating, said that his client had initially tried to stop a confrontation between his friend and another man before Price-Stephens hit someone.

He also claimed the valium, a Class C drug, had been given to his client by a friend to help him sleep.

Price-Stephens was told to pay £85 costs.