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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Court bans man from Cumbrian shops after attack on store staff

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence for carrying out an attack on two shop workers in front of two young children while under the influence of drugs.

The children – aged four and two – were ‘traumatised’ following the incident in Whitehaven, magistrates in west Cumbria were told.

Robert John Richard Merner, of Rudds Court, Whitehaven was given a suspended jail term after being convicted last month of the unprovoked attack on shop owner Amit Sharma.

Merner, 32, was given a 180-day prison sentence suspended for 12 months for the racially-aggravated attack which happened on January 8.

He also assaulted shop assistant Paula Johnson, a charge Merner had previously admitted.

A restraining order was handed out by magistrates preventing Merner from contacting Amit Sharma.

He is also banned from going into the Nisa stores in Whinlatter Road, Mirehouse, and Leconfield Street, Cleator Moor, as well as the Four Seasons outlet in Swingpump Lane, Whitehaven.

Merner must not enter the Four Seasons Express, High Street, Cleator Moor or the town’s Crossfield Garage either.

Magistrates sitting in Workington also handed out suspended jail sentences of 30 days, 60 days and 60 days for three other charges – assaulting a police officer, assaulting Paula Johnson and causing £300 of damage to a door belonging to Amit Sharma.

They will run concurrently to the 180-day suspended sentence.

Merner must also pay a total of £1,445, which includes £775 prosecution costs, £80 victim surcharge and £600 of compensation to those involved.

Merner has been given a supervision order too by magistrates, who say he must complete a drug rehab programme with the organisation Unity.

His drug rehabilitation programme is under regular review.

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