A THIEF who attacked a Huddersfield nightclub doorman while on a countrywide crime spree has escaped jail.
John Milnes, 29, admitted a catalogue of theft and other offences - along with two assaults - when he appeared before Huddersfield magistrates yesterday.
But his solicitor, Andrew Dinning, successfully pleaded with magistrates to give him a non-custodial sentence after Milnes pleaded guilty to several offences and asked for 21 more to be considered.
The court imposed a two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order - and warned Milnes that if he broke it he would be sent to prison.
Milnes, of Crowborough in East Sussex, was charged with common assault after kicking a club doorman at Visage at Folly Hall in the groin.
The attack happened on March 12 after Milnes had been thrown out from the club.
He was charged with common assault and released on bail - but did not turn up for his court appearance before Huddersfield magistrates.
During the year Milnes stole bags and wallets in London, Brighton and Blackpool and used stolen credit cards to buy train tickets worth £4,000.
He used these to travel around the country, often visiting his girlfriend in Blackpool.
When police went to his home in Crowborough last month to arrest him for breaching his bail in Huddersfield, he assaulted a policeman with intent to resist arrest.
Milnes appeared before Huddersfield magistrates on December 17 and was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing yesterday.
Mr Dinning said Milnes used to have a drugs problem, which he had overcome. But he now had a drink problem.
He said Milnes wanted to wipe the slate clean. He admitted all the offences and asked for a further 21 of dishonesty to be considered.
Police from forces around the country had been to see him since his arrest.
"He co-operated fully with the police and should be given maximum credit for that," said Mr Dinning.
"He is an educated, sensible person when not in drink. He has shown great victim empathy and a willingness to change."
Within the two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order Milnes, a qualified plumber, has to attend an enhanced thinking programme and do 80 hours' unpaid community work.
He was ordered to pay £75 compensation each to the doorman and policeman and court costs of £40.
But the magistrates gave Milnes two months to pay it after hearing that he intended to return to Crowborough to work.
He was also given a four-month curfew order. He has to stay indoors between 7pm and 7am.