Elland man assaults Brighouse job centre worker

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A 45-year-old man who punched a Brighouse job centre worker in frustration has been made the subject of a six-month home curfew and ordered to pay compensation to his victim.

Elland man Michael Lynch was being interviewed at the Job Centre Plus premises in Brighouse when he lost his temper with Toby Darwin and punched him once to the side of the face.

Prosecutor Philip Adams told Bradford Crown Court how Mr Darwin had interviewed the defendant earlier in the day and had asked him come back with some documentation to establish that he had been looking for work.

Mr Adams said when Lynch returned in the afternoon he still did not have the paperwork and Mr Darwin said his case would have to be referred to another member of staff.

The court heard that Lynch then lost his temper and punched Mr Darwin in the face with a clenched fist.

Lynch then shouted some abuse and left the job centre.

When Lynch, of East View, was questioned by the police he said he felt the complainant had been talking down to him and he had given him “a backhander”.

Lynch, who admitted a charge of common assault arising out of the incident in June, was given a suspended prison sentence for an offence of wounding back in October 2012.

The latest offence was committed about four months before that suspended sentence was due to expire and Lynch’s lawyer Rachim Singh said he was extremely disappointed that he had let himself and the court down.

Mr Singh conceded that the complainant was trying to assist people at the job centre and did not deserve to be abused.

He said Lynch was regretful and apologetic and thankfully no serious injury had been caused.

Judge Jonathan Rose, who had given Lynch the suspended prison sentence, asked him when he as going to grow up.

“You are approaching the half century and you think you can still behave like the violent teenage person that you were,” said Judge Rose.

But Judge Rose decided not to activate any of the suspended prison term and instead he made Lynch the subject of a 12-month community order which includes an electronically-monitored home curfew between 7pm and 7am.

He will also have to pay £100 compensation to Mr Darwin.

“This man was doing his job. You had no right to lay a hand on him.” the judge told Lynch.