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BOTTLE ATTACK ACCUSED TRIED TO ROB GIRL, 15.

Byline: Olwen Dudgeon Court Correspondent email@examiner.co.uk

A MAN who robbed a Huddersfield schoolgirl while on bail for attacking his estranged girlfriend with a bottle has been jailed for a total of five years three months.

Leeds Crown Court heard Joseph St Hilaire approached the 15-year-old as she was on her way home from school in Almondbury on September 17 last year.

She had a headphone in her right ear connected to her phone when he approached her and asked for the time, Sobia Ahmed prosecuting told the court.

He said he had been locked out of his home and asked if he could use her phone to send a text message. She said she would send it for him but he mentioned somebody known to her at school so she typed in the message and sent it as he told her.

He tried to grab the phone and then pushed the girl before fleeing. Other people went to the girl's assistance and one motorist even drove her around to try and find her attacker. They did not do so but someone who had recognised him gave them his name, leading to his arrest.

Miss Ahmed said the girl suffered sleepless nights and stopped walking on her own for some time afterwards because of feeling vulnerable.

At the time he was on bail accused of assault. On April 2 last year after an argument with his girlfriend Bridget Elliott he put his hands round her neck as if trying to strangle her leaving fingermark bruises.

She left and returned to her mother's home but on April 20 she visited St Hilaire's home, then in Clara Street, Huddersfield and they again argued with him calling her names.

After she slapped him, Miss Ahmed said, St Hilaire dragged Miss Elliott into the kitchen by the neck of her clothing where he slapped her.

She went upstairs to get some of her belongings. St Hilaire followed her. She was standing at the top of the stairs with a bottle in her hand and threw some wine from it over him when he continued to be aggressive.

He then grabbed the bottle and she was struck on her temple with it causing her to lose balance and fall down the stairs. She was bleeding heavily from the cut on her head and was seen outside holding a cloth to it with St Hilaire still being verbally aggressive to her.

He denied both assaults but was convicted by a jury earlier this month of common assault on April 2 and unlawful wounding on April 20.

Adam Birkby, representing St Hilaire, said he accepted he had been involved in an abusive relationship when perhaps both were very young to cope with the stresses involved.

He said St Hilaire had a low IQ and acted impulsively without thinking things through. While he had been in custody his father, a significant influence in his life, had died. He had not been allowed to go to the funeral which had brought home to him the seriousness of his situation.

St Hilaire, 20, of Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, admitted the robbery and breaching a community order for handling.

Sentencing him for all offences, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he had a bad record and the community order was imposed only days before the common assault on his ex-partner.

"She said she loved you and you took advantage of that. You were plainly a jealous man."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 4, 2015
Words:576
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