Thug Samuel Nicholson poured industrial-strength glue over woman's head in Scarborough street in 'cowardly, calculated act'

A vicious thug has been jailed for more than four years after pouring industrial-strength glue on a woman’s head, causing skin burns and hair loss, during a “horrendous” street attack in Scarborough.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 8:56 am
Updated Friday, 4th December 2020, 1:28 pm

Samuel Nicholson, 20, walked up behind the woman in the street, poured the super-strength glue over her head and shouted: “You are going to be bald".

The woman was so traumatised by the “cowardly, calculated” attack that she had to leave Scarborough out of “sheer terror” and lost her job because she was unable to work due to her injuries, York Crown Court heard.

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, said he was now considering barring Nicholson from Scarborough altogether to protect the victim and allow her to move back to the town because he had never come across a “more cowardly, calculated act”.

Samuel Nicholson

Prosecutor Austin Newman said that the day before the attack, Nicholson sent the woman threatening Facebook messages following a purported falling-out between the victim and another female known to Nicholson.

The victim and her friend were leaving her flat in Scarborough in the early evening of September 6 when she was first confronted by Nicholson.

The two friends went on their way but a short time later, while walking towards North Street, the victim noticed that Nicholson was following her.

“As he began to catch up, she noticed he was holding some kind of receptacle in his hand,” said Mr Newman.

“He came up to her and suddenly poured a substance from the receptacle over her head, shouting ‘Ha, ha, you’re bald.’

“The substance turned out to be extremely-strong industrial glue (which) covered her hair and neck area (and) caused a burning sensation to the scalp and exposed skin.”

The terrified woman, who was named in court, could not get the glue out of her hair because it had “solidified”.

“She suffered skin burns and some hair loss, some of it having to be cut off to remove the glue,” added Mr Newman.

Police were informed and went to a woman’s flat in Scarborough a few days later where they arrested Nicholson.

Mr Newman said Nicholson had coerced this woman into telling police that it was she who had attacked the victim in the street to save his own skin.

Both Nicholson and the woman were charged with perverting the course of justice by lying about who was to blame for the attack. Nicholson was also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

They were both released on bail pending further investigations which included checks of CCTV footage in the area around the time of the attack. The footage laid bare Nicholson’s lies.

Both he and the woman were re-arrested. She admitted the deceit, but Nicholson maintained the lie right up to the doors of the court.

In a statement read out in court, the victim described her “terror and panic” during the attack, fearing that the substance was acid and could cause her to go blind.

“It’s had an impact on her self-esteem at the loss of her hair and the pain and suffering caused to her by burns to the skin,” said Mr Newman.

“She said it took four days to remove the glue from her scalp, during which she couldn’t work and lost her job, and the burns took between four to five months to heal.”

She had since moved out of Scarborough and was “too frightened to return”.

Nicholson, of Trafalgar Road, Scarborough, appeared for sentence via video link on Thursday after ultimately admitting ABH and perverting the course of justice.

He admitted a separate charge of breaching a restraining order in relation to another woman. The five-year order had been imposed in April and banned Nicholson from contacting the woman or going to her address.

His first breach was within a matter of days and resulted in a 20-week jail sentence in May, but while locked up in Hull Prison he sent a series of “extremely disturbing, threatening and abusive” letters to the woman in which he made “explicit threats of violence” which “terrified” her.

Nicholson had previous convictions for battering a female, as well as two previous breaches of a restraining order.

Defence barrister Nick Peacock said Nicholson was “ashamed of himself” for the “nasty” street attack on the first victim, who “would have been petrified”.

He conceded that the poison-pen letters to the second victim were “horrendous”.

Judge Mr Morris described the street attack as “cowardly” and told Nicholson: “You went and prepared industrial-strength glue, came up behind (the victim) in the street and poured it over her head.

“You burnt her flesh; you caused her hair to be cut off; you have caused her to leave the area out of sheer terror. I can’t think of a more cowardly, calculated act.”

He described the poison-pen letters sent to the second victim as “sinister, dark and frightening”.

Jailing Nicholson for four years and four months, Mr Morris told him: “I do wonder what goes on inside your head.”

He said he agreed with the prosecution that the restraining order should be made for an indefinite period but postponed his ruling to consider widening the exclusion zone from which Nicholson was barred, so as to potentially “exclude (Nicholson) from Scarborough completely” and allow the victim of the terrifying street attack to move back to the town if she wished to do so.

A decision would be made on December 21, when Nicholson will again appear before the court via video link.