'Immature' teenager who used belt to flog passerby near Northampton McDonald's is jailed
A teenager who used his frayed belt to beat a passerby outside a Northampton town centre McDonald's was picked up by police for heroin dealing days after his court case.
At about 3.30am on March 12 this year Brandon Forward, of Park Crescent West, Kings Heath, was in The Drapery having been out celebrating his 18th birthday with around 15 other friends.
But when after falsely believing he was being "followed" by an Eastern European near to the McDonald's there, he got into an argument with the man.
Forward - who was described as an immature young man "with no education" - first exchanged punches with the man before beating him on the back of his neck using a belt.
Forward appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court on October 10, this year to plead guilty to the offence.
But just three days later police spotted the 18-year-old "sofa surfer" in the Semilong area.
Forward was seen speaking on his mobile phone and acting suspiciously.
But when he saw police he ran - throwing around nine wraps of crack cocaine and two wraps of heroin on to the street as he fled.
Sentencing him for both the assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the two charges of intending to supply drugs yesterday - Recorder John Tickle first turned to the beating in the Drapery.
"As an immature person you drunk far too much that night and lost control," he said.
"In the street you came across someone who disagreed with you.
"You hit him with your belt. It was faulty and worn - but you used the belt plainly in an attack that was occasioned by more than just you."
The victim suffered more than 60 "superficial lacerations" to the back of his neck and was forced to take a week off work as a result of the injuries.
Moving to the drugs charges, recorder Tickle said messages on the teenager's phone indicated he had been dealing on more than "one day".
Forward will now have to spend at least half of a 34-month sentence in prison.
Though in mitigation, Paul Webb said Forward had only taken up dealing for a two-day spell to clear his debt owed to other cannabis dealers.
Mr Webb added: "He realises how foolish he was being. He appears as someone who is positive and is changing."