Enforcement Officer convicted of assaulting homeless man

02/06/2017

A Dudley Council Enforcement Officer has today (31 May) pleaded guilty on to an unprovoked assault upon a homeless man in a public car park in Halesowen.

The defendant, Benjamin Broadhurst, 53, was on duty on 15 January 2017 with a colleague in the Pool Road car park in Halesowen and when he saw the victim, sleeping rough in the stairwell of the car park, the defendant approached the victim and attacked him whilst he was still under a sleeping bag.

He delivered several punches to the victim’s body and face. Due to the intervention of the defendant's colleague, the victim was able to run away only to find his path blocked by a steel gate at the bottom of a set of stairs.

On making his way back up the stairs he was confronted by the defendant who punched him once again a number of times to the face. The defendant's colleague further intervened to allow the victim's final escape.

Broadhurst was later arrested by police and he has today on the day of the trial accepted his guilty at Walsall Magistrates’ Court of an offence of battery and was sentenced to 12 weeks' imprisonment suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £100 compensation and £500 court costs as well as 100 hours unpaid work.

Helen Whitehead, Senior Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"This was an unprovoked, violent attack on a defenceless and vulnerable man who was sleeping rough at the time of the assault. Benjamin Broadhurst initially claimed he acted to defend himself from the victim; however, there was no evidence to support this. 

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the witness who stepped in to stop the attack which enabled the victim to make his escape".