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Barnstaple assault victim left with spit dripping down her face

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

North Devon Magistrates' Court

A MAN left his victim with spit dripping down her face – then called her a "grass" when she reported the assault to police.

Benjamin Hayward, 22, of Buller Road, Barnstaple, had an altercation with the woman on August 15 when he met her walking through Barnstaple with a group of friends.

David Barnes, for the prosection, told North Devon magistrates Hayward spat in the woman's face during the incident.

"She had spit dripping down her face and she described it as being horrible," he said.

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Hayward initially denied the assault and a trial was scheduled.

But when he saw the same woman walking through Barnstaple on November 13 he called her a "grass" and was charged with intimidating a witness.

Hayward appeared in court pleading guilty to common assault and an amended charge of using threatening language with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was given a community order with 150 hours unpaid work along with a 12-month restraining order not to contact the victim.

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