Drunk jailed for urinating on Liverpool rough sleeper

Stephen Gibney Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Stephen Gibney had no recollection of urinating on his victim

A drunk who urinated on a sleeping homeless man "as a joke" has been jailed for eight weeks.

Richard Stanley woke to find Stephen Gibney urinating on his face and laughing following a night of drinking in Liverpool city centre.

A district judge said the offence was an act of "gratuitous degradation" and an "attack" on the victim's home.

Gibney, 32, of Rimmer Avenue, Childwall, admitted assault by beating at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

Jane Stacey, prosecuting, told the court that just before 05:00 BST on 18 May, Richard Stanley was sleeping rough in the Whitechapel area when he woke to find Gibney and another man standing over him.

"He opened his eyes and saw two men both laughing and realised the defendant was urinating on his face and his coat next to him and his worldly possessions," she added.

'Vile' behaviour

When the victim said he was going to call the police, Gibney told him: "I'll fight you right now. What are you going to do about it?"

Gibney was arrested at the scene and had no recollection of the incident when interviewed by police, the court heard.

Sentencing, District Judge Wendy Lloyd told Gibney the offence was "a deliberate act of degradation of a homeless person.

"It was his home, his little pitch where he was trying to establish himself as a human being and a valuable human being just like everyone else.

"He is in no way to be looked down upon, to be judged or dealt with in any lesser way than anyone else in society.

"This was this man's home where he was lying with his sleeping bag getting shelter.

"Apparently, to you and your companion this was just a joke."

Keiran Fielding, defending, said Gibney had had a considerable amount to drink but accepted his behaviour had been "vile."

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