Binding-over order for 27-year-old man who assaulted woman in nightclub toilet

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A 27-YEAR-OLD man who assaulted a woman in a nightclub has been given a binding-over order.

Joseph Collard followed a woman into the toilets at Vittoria in St Helier last September after she stole his sunglasses from his head, the Magistrate’s Court heard.

The court was told that Collard had pushed the cubicle door with such force that the victim suffered bruising. He then hit her as he was being dragged out of the space.

Relief Magistrate Michael O’Connell said that ‘women were entitled to feel safe in public’.

Advocate Sarah Dale, defending, argued that it was an ‘instinctive reaction with no time to think’.

After the incident, Advocate Dale said Collard had become ‘completely destabilised’ and had initially been admitted to Orchard House because of his declining mental health.

He has been remanded in custody at La Moye Prison since September.

Advocate Dale requested that a binding-over order be given, so that her client could fulfil his wish to move to the USA and ‘start a new life’.

Along with two counts of assault, Collard was also sentenced for malicious damage and public urination, offences which occurred days after the assault.

Sentencing Collard, Mr O’Connell said that he was persuaded that he had acted instinctively and that there were ‘exceptional circumstances’.

But he added: ‘Women are entitled to feel safe in public and especially in toilets.

‘As a starting point, a man who goes into a toilet and attacks a woman goes to prison.’

Legal adviser Francis Burak was prosecuting.

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