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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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DJ knocked out after Carlisle thug headbutted him

A thug responsible for two vicious attacks in Carlisle city centre has been in trouble again – for headbutting a DJ in a local bar.

Nathan Bell, 21, of Brookside, Raffles, Carlisle, could have been sent to prison in March after pleading guilty to two separate acts of violence, one of which left a man with a broken nose and fractured eye socket.

But though the judge at that time – a visiting recorder – described what he and a friend did as “shocking” – he escaped with a suspended prison sentence.

Yesterday Bell was before the city’s top judge, the honorary Recorder of Carlisle Paul Batty QC, for knocking DJ Daniel Johnson unconscious during an incident in the Rouge Bar off Botchergate.

Magistrates had previously found him guilty of common assault on Mr Johnson – despite his protestations that he hadn’t done it – but they sent him to be sentenced at the higher court because they considered the offence, and his previous convictions, so serious as to merit a stiffer sentence than they had the power to impose.

Judge Batty described the latest incident as “typical of the sort of feral behaviour which is becoming increasingly and depressingly frequent in Botchergate.”

And then he was told of Bell’s two previous convictions for the same sort of violence.

On one occasion he and his friend Shaun Vevers, 25, attacked Dumfries man Keith Stuart at a taxi rank in Portland Place, knocking him unconscious before Vevers twice stamped on his head.

And on the other he repeatedly kicked a man to the head after trouble flared outside the Time Bar in Botchergate.

For those offences Bell, who had studied for his A-levels and completed the first year of a degree course, pleaded guilty to inflicting GBH and affray.

He was given the suspended sentence after the visiting recorder promised him he would not be locked up if he could keep out of trouble for six months.

Now though, Bell – who works for the Ministry of Defence as a warehouse operative at Longtown – could have the suspended sentence activated because of his latest offence.

Judge Batty adjourned the case until August 23 to give him time to find legal representation he has not bothered with so far.

But he warned him: “I very much have in mind custody because you are in breach of a suspended prison sentence for street violence here in Carlisle.”

Bell was allowed bail until then, but put under an electronically monitored curfew to keep him indoors at home every night from 8pm to 5am.

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