An 84-year-old man has avoided jail after he assaulted a woman member just before Christmas in Southampton

David Bignell, admitted assault by beating at Southampton Magistrates' Court. 

This relates to an attack on December 20, 2023. He admitted the charge on December 21 last year.

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But now Bignell, who lives in a care home in Shirley Avenue, Southampton has avoided jail. 

Magistrates handed down a three-month sentence suspended for 12 months. 

They ruled that the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified but that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. 

Bignell, who was sentenced last week, was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £154 surcharge. 

This must be paid in full by March 20. 

He was given a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim for the next year.