Thug batters pensioner, 65, to the floor while boasting ‘I’m a pikey from Stoke’

A thug battered a pensioner and knocked him to the floor in a frenzied attack while boasting that he was “a pikey from Stoke”.

James Hurst, 21, repeatedly punched the 66-year-old in the face until he smashed his head on the pavement.

The victim, who has not been identified, was smoking a cigarette outside an over-55s complex in Leek, Staffs, before the savage attack.

Prosecutor Paul Spratt told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court: "The defendant started indicating in his drunken state that he was a ‘pikey’ from Stoke.

“The man engaged with him for a little while but decided after a few minutes he’d had enough and was going in.

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“But the defendant punched him to his face. It felled him to the ground.

“He does not have any proper recollection of what happened after as he banged his head.”

The "frenzied attack" was witnessed by a care worker, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

Mr Spratt added: “She said it was an unprovoked, frenzied attack with one punch after another and the man fell to the floor and knocked his head against the pavement.

“She approached to see how the man was and the defendant was trying to pull him off the floor.

“She went to stop him and told him to move away. He kicked her in her left thigh and she fell to the floor. The defendant walked off towards Brough Park.”

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The defendant was arrested near Leek Police Station.

The victim was left feeling jittery, anxious and has become reclusive.

He said: “Each time I leave the apartment I have a memory of where it took place.”

Hurst, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, assault and criminal damage, and was jailed for 26 months.

Jason Holt, mitigating, said Hurst does not dispute what happened but he cannot put forward any explanation for it.

Judge David Fletcher said: “I have tried very hard to try to understand what was happening in your mind.

“Because what happened was an attack on a man over three times your age. It was an outburst of unprovoked violence.”

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