9:58am Thursday 29th September 2011
By Megi Rychlikova
A THUG who attacked a pizza delivery man, stole his scooter and then crashed it into a car during a violent rampage has been jailed.
Pizza Hut employee Richard Starkey, 20, was on his round in Neville Street, The Groves, on May 27, when Ronnie Johnston jumped out in front of him, demanded cigarettes and then lifted the moped’s front wheel off the ground by grabbing the handlebars, said Julia Harrow, prosecuting at York Crown Court. Mr Starkey fell off, Johnston punched him and made off on the moped.
Shortly afterwards, Johnston veered back and forth across Park Grove behind a car with two young children in and tried to overtake it at 30mph. When it stopped at traffic lights he crashed into the back of it and fell off.
He swore at passers-by who tried to help him, and told them and the driver that if they called the police “I will kill you – I know where you live”. He also slapped eye-witness Alex Roberts in the face, said Miss Harrow.
An initial breath test gave a reading of 134 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, nearly four times the legal limit, and he failed to provide the necessary second one to be prosecuted for drink-driving.
The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Johnston: “It was really an appalling catalogue of behaviour that afternoon. This was serious offending, putting the public at risk. I am afraid this is one of those occasions when you have got to face up to the consequences.” He jailed Johnston for two and a half years, banned him from driving for three and ordered him to retake his driving test.
Johnston, of Kirkham Avenue, York, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob, aggravated moped snatching, failure to provide a breath test, careless driving, assault and driving without insurance. Glenn Parsons, defending, said Johnston was the paid carer for his disabled father and his girlfriend was expecting their child in January.
On May 27, he had met up with her and a friend and had “abandoned his responsibilities” for a time. Then he had received a phone call indicating something was wrong with his father, and in a panic to get home as quickly as possible, he had looked for transport.
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