A “SELF-entitled” drug addict who knocked out his step-father after begging his mum for money has been spared prison.
Ashley Fletcher (27), of St Ann’s Road, Rotherham, harassed his mum, Jayne Dobson, by asking her for money two or three times a day.
He attacked his step-father, John Dobson, in Rotherham town centre after asking his mum for money and left him unconscious on the floor, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Fletcher has not lived with his mum since he was 16 and in recent years had constantly pestered her for money, Mr Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, told the court.
He was banned from having any contact with his mum in 2016 after a previous harassment conviction.
“She moved to a new address and she thought she had escaped the attention of this defendant, but he found out where she lived,” said Mr Outhwaite.
“Since 2018, he would knock on their door asking for money, and would attend two or three times a day.”
Mr Outhwaite said Mrs Dobson would ring the police, but by the time they arrived, her son would be gone, and when the police had gone, her son would be back again.
Fletcher was convicted of harassing his mum between April and July last year.
Mr Outhwaite said Mrs Dobson would also see her son in Rotherham town centre and ask her for money.
In July last year, Fletcher saw his mum and step-father coming out of a shop and said, ‘Give me some money’.
He made threats to Mr Dobson who went out of the way to call the police, said Mr Outhwaite.
Fletcher said: “Just give me some money and I will go.”
He punched Mr Dobson in the face, knocking him unconscious.
Mr Dobson, who fell to the ground, was kicked in the stomach and back.
He had cuts on his face and needed five stitches.
Fletcher admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and was convicted of harassment at a trial at the same court.
Mitigating, Ms Joy Merriam said it was a “sorry tale” and that Fletcher, who has been homeless since he was a teenager, had a drug addiction.
She said her client had thought he was entitled to ask his mum for money.
“He wants you to know how much he regrets his actions and how sorry he is,” she said.
Judge Graham Reeds sentenced Fletcher to 28 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and banned him from contacting Mr and Mrs Dobson for two years.
“I’m told that you thought you were entitled in law to ask your mother for money,” he said.
“But the way you have done it over the years shows you are a self-entitled young man.”
Judge Reeds said it would be unjust to send Fletcher straight to prison because it might have undone any progress he would make.