Sheffield man admits 'assaulting' woman over rumours she was carrying his baby

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A 33-year-old Sheffield man, who admitted to a battery charge carried out against fellow user of The Archer Project over rumours she was carrying his baby, has received a custodial sentence.

During this morning's sentencing Sheffield Crown Court was told how on November 5 last year, Christopher Thompson, of Owler Lane, Fir Vale initiated an altercation with a 34-year-old woman who was accessing the services of The Archer Project at its base in the city centre.

Prosecutor Carl Fitch said: "The victim had come there for breakfast at around 8.30am. She was sitting down, when at about 9.20am she saw the defendant and his girlfriend.

"They walked towards her and as they did so, she saw the defendant was carrying a jug from the kitchen.

"They came directly up to her and Chris shouted: 'Why are you spreading rumours about me? Why are you telling everyone you are having my baby?'

"He then threw a liquid from the jug at her which she soon realised was cold milk.

"He told her: 'You're lucky that's not boiling water and sugar'."

The victim's clothes had to be cleaned and dried out at The Archer Project, which seeks to help the city's homeless, but the victim was not harmed in any other way, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

The incident was reported to police, and on December 18, 2016, Thompson, who was serving a suspended sentence for assault at the time of the offence, was charged with one count of battery.

The 33-year-old admitted to the offence at an earlier hearing.

A statement from the victim on how the incident has affected her was read out in court.

She said: "I felt embarrassed and ashamed by what happened. I went home and threw my clothes away.

"I'm scared of seeing him [Thompson] again and I don't come into the city centre as much anymore. I'm scared of bumping into him, in case he assaults me again."

Defending Thompson, Amy Eardshaw told the court: "This was a spur-of-the-moment thing, my client had not planned it.

"He is very fearful of a custodial sentence, and in my submission, it would not be fair to his girlfriend for whom he is a carer.

"She is going blind and desperately needs his assistance. He is the only one she can rely on, and she needs him to stay on the outside."

Recorder Anthony Kelbrick sentenced Thompson to 28 days in prison, which he has already served during his time on remand, and to a £10 fine.

He told Thompson: "Keep out of trouble, look after your lady, and don't come back before the courts."