AN Ellesmere Port teenager who attacked a vulnerable youth and later intimidated two witnesses has been locked up and banned from Chester city centre.

Jamie Norman, 18, of Hylton Court, had initially denied attacking the 17-year-old boy at the Bridge Foyer accommodation in New Crane Street, but later changed his plea to guilty.

He also admitted two charges of witness intimidation after calling two young women who had seen the incident just after midnight on January 4, telling one: "I don't like grasses" and saying he could make them "disappear", Chester Crown Court heard on Thursday, May 16.

Judge Simon Berkson sentenced Norman to a total of 16 months in a young offenders' institution.

Despite being 18, Norman already had eight convictions for battery offences and a history of not complying with court orders, and so an application for a criminal behaviour order was submitted and accepted.

The order prohibits Norman from stepping foot in the Chester city area within the inner ring road, apart from the new Chester Bus Interchange.

It was also extended along to New Crane Street so he cannot enter the Bridge Foyer accommodation.

As part of the order, Norman must also not use or encourage others to use intimidating, threatening or abusive language or behaviour.

Prosecuting, Derek Jones said the basis of the assault had come after Norman believed the victim had gone to the police about something he had done.

One of the witnesses had also spurned his advances and had since gone with the victim, so there was "bad blood" between the two.

It was at midnight on January 4 when Norman arrived at the Bridge Foyer – a place he was prohibited from entering – shouting "don't ignore me, come outside and talk" to the victim, while banging on the window.

He managed to gain entry and said: "Come outside or I will leather you in here," Mr Jones told the court.

The victim came out and Norman, who was with another man, started throwing punches at him before kicking him in the stomach, while the other man also threw punches.

The victim fell to the floor but Norman continued to punch and kick him, calling him a "grass".

After the attack, the victim was left with a cut to the temple, feeling sore, and had a headache.

Police were called and Norman was arrested nearby, while witnesses gave statements to the police.

Norman appeared before Chester Magistrates Court on January 5 and was bailed on condition not to contact the victim or witnesses.

But on January 20, one witness received a call at 5.05pm from Norman.

She asked: "Who is this?" and he replied: "You know who it is."

Norman asked her if she was going to court, before adding: "I have warned [the victim] if he comes to court there will be someone waiting for him. I will make him disappear."

When the witness sarcastically replied: "That's nice," Norman added: "The same goes for you and [the other witness]. I don't like grasses."

The witness had a further missed call from Norman's number at 3am on January 23, plus another call the following day.

The calls made her feel intimidated and scared about attending court.

Another witness received a call on January 21 from Norman, where he said: "I will pay you not to go to court," to which she reminded him of his bail conditions.

She later received a Facetime call from him on January 23.

The young women, aged 18 and 21, contacted the police. Norman denied making the calls.

Both women said they had suffered from anxiety and depression which were exacerbated by the incidents.

Norman had been in custody since January 25 in relation to the offences.

He admitted being in breach of a conditional discharge imposed on November 13, 2018, for threatening behaviour – swearing at a police officer in Chester city centre – and possession of cannabis in Ellesmere Port.

Defending, Andrew Green said there was a lengthy pre-sentence report which showed Norman had a very troubled upbringing and had an inability to cope with people in a friendly fashion, and could not control things he said and did.

Mr Green said: "He is still at an important point in his development. He has important choices to make for his 20s; they could be the best years of his life or they could be blighted by crime."

Norman had gone into care as a child and had no stable accommodation.

Mr Green said Norman was open and frank with the probation officer and genuinely willing to undertake critical analysis with his conduct, and willing to show genuine remorse.

He said his behaviour was "disgusting" and he was ashamed he caused fear to these women.

He had made real efforts to rekindle his relationship with his mother and to see his grandmother, who sadly was in ill health.

The time spent in custody had been "horrible" and Norman wanted to "make changes to his life".

Mr Green added: "The report does still reveal a degree of hope and I would ask to consider a sentence that does not extinguish that hope."

Sentencing, Judge Berkson told Norman: "You assaulted a 17-year-old man with another male. That was witnessed by two young women; you intimidated both of them.

"You pleaded guilty at the first opportunity at crown court but initially pleaded not guilty to the assault charge.

"The defendant says you want to make changes to your life – can your first change be your compliance with the order I have made today?"

Norman was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders institution for intimidating the witnesses, plus a four-month consecutive sentence for the assault.