Man who filmed running-jump assault on homeless men in tent is jailed
A man has been jailed for his part in an attack on two homeless men which a judge described as demonstrating a “depressing lack of awareness”.
The two victims were sleeping on the streets of Whitefriargate, Hull, when Jake Mann, 29, stood and filmed another man taking a running jump on to their tent on November 30 last year.
Prosecutors told how Mann, who had travelled to the city from his home in Lincoln in order to see a concert, had been drinking, and laughed in the aftermath of the incident.
He was brought to justice after Humberside Police released CCTV footage of him filming the incident in order to appeal for help in identifying him and the man who took the running jump.
Phillip Evans, prosecuting, explained how one of the homeless men was left with an injured knee following the incident, while the other still remains frightened about the possibility of being attacked in a similar way again.
Mr Evans also told the court how Mann’s filming of the attack reflected the fact that some degree of planning had gone into it.
Appearing at Hull Crown Court on Monday, Mann pleaded guilty to a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Meanwhile, Jamie Nickell, 26, also of Lincoln, is due to appear in court on Friday, accused of a single count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the incident.
Mann’s defence solicitor, David Eager, suggested that although the attack was “mean”, the judge could consider deferring the prison sentence in order to allow his client to volunteer at a Lincolnshire homeless shelter.
Mr Eager said: “It would be hoped that you could get this man to do something positive for society, targeted specifically at the people he has harmed.”
But, His Honour Judge Bury, sentencing, said that even if Mann did work at a homeless shelter, this would not be truly voluntary as it would be done in lieu of jail time.
Choosing to instead impose a 14-week prison sentence, the judge said: “If you truly want to show that you are sorry, when you leave prison, and when you come back from your best friend’s wedding, then you can do volunteering.”
Discussing the victims, the judge added: “They are homeless men. Homelessness is not a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity for these people.
“It is corrosive to both their lifestyle and their well-being. Your actions have showed a depressing lack of awareness to that fact.
“It is totally outrageous. You showed no empathy and awareness, and I have a public duty to show that this sort of behaviour, in a civilised society, cannot be tolerated.”
He went on to explain how, unlike his victims, Mann had “enough money to come from your home in Lincoln to Hull, and enough money to drink far too much”, and will return to a warm bed when he concludes his sentence.