Homeless Wrexham man threw punches after his belongings were stolen

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

A HOMELESS man whose belongings were stolen while he slept after taking Black Mamba threw punches at the man he believed responsible.

Craig Nikolic, 42, of no fixed address, had been sleeping in the grounds of a Wrexham town centre church on July 12, when he woke up to find his clothes, money and mobile phone all gone.

At about 9am, CCTV operators advised North Wales Police of a fight near Grosvenor Road.

Nikolic had been walking along and crossed towards Ty Croeso when he spotted the man he thought was responsible for the theft of his belongings.

Nikolic approached the man and, without warning or provocation, threw a series of punches.

There was an exchange of blows between the men, though it was clear from CCTV footage that the victim had been trying to defend himself.

The altercation came to an end when a woman intervened.

Appearing before Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, Nikolic pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour with intent.

Ceri Lewis, defending, said Nikolic fully admitted the offence in interview and was genuinely remorseful.

She said he had smoked Black Mamba on the previous evening to help him sleep.

Nikolic’s last conviction for a violent offence dated back to 1996 and it was a very short altercation, Ms Lewis said.

And she added it was an impulsive act which had been provoked by the theft of his belongings.

Probation officer Rachel Woodcock said lack of accommodation was the root cause of Nikolic’s offending behaviour and if he could secure somewhere to live, it would lower the risk of him reoffending.

She added it would also help to significantly decrease his problem with substance misuse.

Chairman of magistrates, Roy Dolan, said he wanted to give Nikolic a chance to get his life back on track.

Sentencing him to a six-month community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement, Mr Dolan said: “We have seen positives from you.

“This is your first violent offence for 20 years.

“You are working with probation and you do seem to be trying to sort yourself out. We’re going to take a bit of a punt on you.

“Take this chance and have a good go at it because you’re too old for this game.”

Mr Dolan ordered Nikolic to pay an £85 victim surcharge but made no order for costs because of his poor financial circumstances.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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