Man pleads guilty to punching Worthing mayor in the eye

A man has pleaded guilty to punching the mayor of Worthing last month.

Brendon Michael Hayhurst, 53, who gave his address as Victoria Court in Victoria Road, Worthing, admitted to punching Sean McDonald in the eye on July 29 as the mayor was leaving a meeting at the seafront.

Appearing at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning, Hayhurst pleaded guilty to the charge of assault by beating.

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The mayor’s injuries were described to be tender and uncomfortable.

Martina Sherlock, prosecuting, told the court how Mr McDonald was attending to a man with a head injury when Hayhurst approached him and began shouting at him. Hayhurst then made an obscene gesture with his left hand and another man tried to pull him away.

Ms Sherlock told the court how the defendant continued to shout at the mayor and punched him in the right eye.

A nearby officer heard the commotion and arrested Hayhurst for assault.

Representing Hayhurst, Parissa Henney cited his struggles with alcohol and overall mental health. She confirmed he had not met the mayor before.

“He does regret his actions that day”, Ms Henney told the court. “He is extremely regretful that this matter has come to light.”

Chairman of the bench, Peter Harbord, adjourned the case until September 12 to allow the probation service to produce a report on the defendant’s mental health.

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