Ottery man admits assault

AN Ottery man has admitted assaulting three others.

Andrew Neil Heginbotham, 22, of Broad Street, pleaded guilty at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to three charges of assault by beating.

The court heard that on October 23, he was drinking at Ottery’s King’s Arms when things became heated between him and friend Andrew Ritchie. He said in an abusive way: “I’m going to kill you” and “you’re a dead man”.

Mr Ritchie and others, including Robert Griffiths, moved to the Lamb and Flag, where Heginbotham repeated the threats.

His anger had been sparked by Mr Ritchie talking about his ex-girlfriend, said prosecutor Neil Lawson. When Mr Griffiths suggested he leave Mr Ritchie alone, Heginbotham punched him.

They saw Heginbotham outside later and when Mr Ritchie asked if they were alright, Heginbotham replied: “No, we aren’t” He then threatened to kill him.

Later they found Heginbotham on the pavement, too drunk to walk, and helped him home. As Mr Ritchie turned to leave, Heginbotham punched him on the jaw, knocking him to the ground.

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Mr Ritchie ran away, and people had to restrain Heginbotham, who punched peacemaker Scott Lory, from running after him.

Heginbotham accepted responsibility, but denied threatening to kill anyone. Defending, Jennifer Stetson said he had started drinking heavily after breaking up with his girlfriend of two years in May.

“Alcohol accounts for what happened,” she told magistrates. “This is a man you haven’t seen before and I can assure you, you won’t see him again, this has terrified him.”

Heginbotham received a 12-month community order, 200 hours unpaid work, and a three-month 8pm-6am curfew on Fridays and Saturdays. He must pay �50 compensation to each victim and is banned from four Ottery pubs for 12 months.

The chair of magistrates told him: “Alcohol isn’t an excuse to go out and act like a thug.”