A shop thief served 13 days in custody after headbutting a Spalding store assistant manager because it was wrongly believed he was about to be deported.
The victim, Simon Alderson, received cuts inside his top and bottom lips in the incident on March 21 and his assailant, Nerijus Vaikasas, appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court the next day and was remanded in custody to April 3.
His solicitor, John Storer, told Boston magistrates on Thursday: “He has now served the equivalent of a 26-day prison sentence, this being his 13th day in custody.”
Mr Storer said Vaikasas had his bail refused because it was believed then he had been served notice by UK Immigration that he would be deported.
The solicitor described it as a “serious misunderstanding” because UK Immigration had given Vaikasas notice on March 20 that he was in breach of his treaty obligations and they were “giving him a month to find work or leave the country”.
Mr Storer told Thursday’s hearing: “I would ask you to sentence him in a way that would allow his release today because, inadvertently, he has already lost 13 days anyway in his search for work to allow him to stay here anyway.”
Vaikasas (38), of Holland Road, Spalding, was sentenced to pay £100 compensation to Mr Alderson and given no separate penalty for theft of chocolate worth £8.44 from Aldi.
Vaikasas, who was freed after Thursday’s hearing, admitted assault by beating and theft when he appeared at the Lincoln court.
Shelley Wilson, prosecuting, said Vaikasas went into Aldi in Winsover Road at 2.45pm on March 21, placed chocolate items in his rucksack, but went to the till to pay only for a bottle of Coke that was in his hand.
Mrs Wilson said Vaikasas realised he was being watched by the manager and assistant manager.
She said he shouted at the manager and both men then restrained him.
She said: “It’s then said that he deliberately headbutted Mr Alderson in the face.”
Mrs Wilson handed in photographs of Mr Alderson’s injuries.
The court heard Vaikasas had two previous convictions from February and March.
Presiding magistrate David Milner-Scudder described the attack on Mr Alderson as “unnecessary” and said it was the more serious of the two offences.
He told Vaskevicius: “Go with the officer and you will be released in due course.”