Trawlerman jailed for attacking crewmate with Lotto sign

James Plant

James Plant - Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A trawlerman has been jailed for battering a crewmate with a National Lottery sign after tensions from a six-week fishing trip flared into violence.

James Plant was seen punching and throttling the other man before he picked up the heavy sign and hurling it at him as he cowered on the ground.

They had both come off an Exmouth registered fishing boat at Scarborough and Plant was already drunk by 11.30 am on a Sunday morning in March this year.

CCTV from a shop showed a fight between two men in which Plant got the upper hand with a flurry of punches. His opponent fell to the ground where he carried on punching him and knelt down to throttle him.

They both got up before the fight re-started with the other man throwing a sign at Plant and him retaliating by knocking him to the ground once again.

He then threw the Lotto sign at him repeatedly and followed up with two other heavy-based signs. He also aimed kicks and stamps at his head.  

A shopkeeper called the police and by the time they arrived Plant had ripped off his shirt. He pushed away one officer so violently that he fell over and then ran towards his boat before police caught and arrested him.

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The owner of a harbourside chip shop told the police: “I was terrified and worried somebody was going to get hurt. It honestly looked as if he was going to kill him.”

Plant, aged 34, originally from Dartmouth but now of Queensway, Torquay, admitted affray and assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed for two years and two months by Judge James Patrick at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “There must be immediate custody because you were kicking a man on the ground, using your feet as a weapon, and you have a shocking record of offending.”

Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said the incident on Sunday, March 21, was all caught on camera. The victim did not suffer any serious injuries and did not cooperate with the police.

Plant has convictions for 66 offences including assaults, public order, drugs and drunkenness.

Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Plant is a share fisherman who had spent six weeks on board with a crewmate who caused serious aggravation.

He said the two men both went ashore and the tensions between them led to the fight.

Mr Parkhill said Plant’s previous offending is linked to his abuse of alcohol and drugs but he has now enrolled with Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous and accepts he needs help.