Thug jailed for attack on South Ham shop worker

A LOUT has been locked up after he slapped a shop assistant so hard that he fractured her jaw.

Justin Wayne, 36, of St Nicholas Court, South Ham, Basingstoke, was jailed for four months for an attack which a judge described as “disgraceful” and “inexcusable”.

Winchester Crown Court heard that Wayne was stopped from entering the Co-op, in Kings Road, South Ham, when he arrived at 10.58pm on June 13, because the store was shutting for the night, and the tills were closed.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said Wayne was aggressive, smelled of alcohol, and was swaying.

He demanded to come in and after being refused, he took the names of two shop assistants, saying he would make a complaint.

As he was about to leave the scene, Mr Lawson said Wayne hit a young shop assistant with his left hand, striking the woman’s right cheek.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said the pain of the blow was “seven out of 10”. The next day, an x-ray revealed a hairline fracture of her jaw.

Her statement added that her jaw hurt for weeks after, and that she had trouble eating solid foods, and has been afraid of working night shifts since the incident.

Robert Brown, defending Wayne, said that the incident was sparked by a culmination of personal events. Wayne had been struggling financially, and had recently broken off a long-term relationship with his girlfriend.

“This incident was out of character – a combination of stressful events,” said Mr Brown. “It was a slap, not a punch. A slap is more of a rebuke and that is how he intended it.

“He wanted to embarrass rather than injure. He realises how stupid he has been, and that just because he has got stresses in life, he can’t act in this way.”

Passing sentence, Recorder Mr Stuart Jones QC said: “Striking an unprotected woman like that late at night while she’s just trying to do her job is quite unwarranted.

“I regard this as a serious offence, even for a man of good character.”

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