Thursday, May 15, 2008

Colwyn Bay - Drunk 'Darth Vader' spared jail due to Colwyn Bay hospice move

Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 12:06 UK

Drunk 'Darth Vader' spared jail

Arwel Hughes intrudes upon a Jedi light sabre duel before assaulting two cousins
A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for attacking two Star Wars fans while posing as Darth Vader.
Arwel Wynn Hughes, 27, from Holyhead, Anglesey, admitted assaulting Barney Jones and cousin Michael with a metal crutch, whilst shouting "Darth Vader".
Hughes told police he had no memory of the incident as he was drunk.
District Judge Andrew Straw said the publicity his case had received was perhaps a good thing, and a "wake up call" to deal with his alcohol problem.
Diane Williams, prosecuting, said the two cousins had set up a Jedi faith church with around 30 local members in the Holyhead area.
On 25 March they were being filmed fighting with light sabres in a garden in Holyhead when Hughes jumped over a wall.
 Perhaps the publicity surrounding your case has been a good thing, and is the wake-up call you need to deal with your problems 
District judge Andrew Shaw
"He was wearing a black bin liner, had a cut to his face and had in his hand a crutch - which he did not need to walk as he was holding it in the air," Ms Williams said.
"He shouted Darth Vader several times before hitting Barney Jones on the back of his head and then he hit Michael Jones to his leg."
Hughes then laughed, said he was joking and ran off, she added.
Later when arrested by police he told them that he was "extremely drunk" at the time, she said.
Barney Jones had suffered a headache after the attack, and Michael Jones a bruised leg.
Mrs Frances Jones defending said her client had a "serious alcohol problem".
"He has previously stopped drinking but the rehab he has needed has not been available," Mrs Jones said.
"But now a place has become available at Touchstone in Colwyn Bay."
Arwel Wynn Hughes
Arwel Wynn Hughes after a previous hearing
Mrs Jones argued that allowing Hughes to access treatment would help rather than just punish him, as similar treatment was not available in prison.
Judge Shaw told Hughes there had been an element of premeditation in the assaults because he had been wearing the bin bag, and had a weapon.
That he would be caught had been "inevitable" the judge added.
"Perhaps the publicity surrounding your case has been a good thing, and is the wake-up call you need to deal with your problems," he said.
The judge said despite his "genuine efforts" to change however the attack had been sufficiently serious to warrant a jail sentence.
Hughes was sentenced to two months suspended for 12 months, with supervision and residence requirements overseen by the probation service.
He was also ordered to pay £100 to each of his two victims and prosecution costs of £60.

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