March man spared jail for assaulting woman outside Wisbech Jobcentre as he looks after 10 children

A VIOLENT man who attacked a mother in Wisbech’s Horsefair car park in front of a screaming child escaped jail because he has to look after 10 children.

Patrick Beart went into the dock at Cambridge Crown Court with his bags packed but Judge Anthony Bate told him: “You are saved in part from prison by the fact you play a role in bringing up 10 children.”

The 42-year-old, previously found guilty of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault on a girl under the age of 13, broke the strict conditions of a suspended sentence order when he assaulted his victim outside the town’s Jobcentre.

Accusing her of reporting him to social services, he threatened her menacingly with the words: “You’re going to pay for that.”

He then grabbed her by the throat and punched her in the face as the hysterical child shouted at him to stop.

Judge Bate said: “Whatever the perceived reasons, you couldn’t excuse your behaviour in a public place on that day.”

Beart, of Truman Avenue, March, was given 150 hours unpaid work instead after the judge said: “I’m not going to add to your children’s difficulties by depriving them of their father.”

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However, after sentencing him to a 12-month supervision order for a charge of battery, Judge Bate warned: “That is not going to last you every time.

“If you step out of line again, that degree of mercy will not continue.”

Beart was coming to the end of his two-year suspended sentence when he launched the attack at 9am on February 18.

In 2009, a trial jury found him guilty of following a 12-year-old girl into a kitchen, tickling her stomach and squeezing her breast when he put his hand up her top.

But when sentenced on March 16 last year, Judge Bate had little alternative but to punish him in the community because of his responsibilities at home.

The judge felt equally compelled to let Beart walk free again on Thursday but said: “I hope we don’t meet again.”

“So do I,” Beart replied as he was freed to return to his home.

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