A couple pushing a small quadbike along the High Street in Stroud were attacked by a 51 year old man and his partner, a court heard yesterday, Thursday.

William Davies and his partner Joanne Harrison, who has since died, were armed with socks filled with marbles which they used in the attack on the victims, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Alex Small said the couple were pushing the quadbike past a High Street bench on which several people were sitting, including Davies and Harrison.

“From the bench some offensive comments were made at the couple," he said.

“Both Davies and Harrison then got up, armed with their socks filled with marbles, and approached the victims.

“The couple released their grip on the quad bike when Davies told them in a threatening manner ‘I’m going to take this.’ He clambered onto the machine with one of the victims trying to restrain him.

“There was a standoff, with one of the victimss hit over the head by Harrison with her sock filled with marbles. Davies uses his sock weapon towards the other victim, who evaded the attack.

“Davies then threw a glass bottle, which shattered in the street. He then picked up a shard of the glass to use in a threatening manner, but was restrained by a passer by."

In interview Davies admitted to having the sock filled with marbles and said it was for his own protection.

The court was told that Harrison had died on November 23, four days after being remanded in custody at Eastwood Park Prison.

Sarah Jenkins, for Davies, said: “The offence is now of some age. He has been much affected by the death of his partner, Ms Harrison.

“He suffers from a number of mental health issues, including depression brought on by his partner’s death. He is still waiting for her inquest to be held to bring closure.

“Substance misuse has been a problem for some time but he is now stable thanks to the use of prescribed medication.”

Davies pleaded guilty to affray, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing a small quantity of cannabis.

Judge Jason Taylor QC told Davies: “You and your partner set upon your victims who were minding their own business.

“I take this to be aggressive, intimidating and bullying. You pulled out a sock with marbles in it and wrapped it around your wrists to use as a weapon on them.

“You struck the woman to the face. The couple tried to fight back in self defence, to which you responded by picking up a shard of the glass bottle you had broken to warn them off.

“You have a considerable record of past offending.

“I accept that you partner’s death has had a salutary impact and I take into account the circumstances in which she died.”

The judge sentenced Davies to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years. He ordered that Davies undertake 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and be subjected to a six month curfew from 8pm to 7am.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the cannabis.