Punter who hit cashier walks free

John Eamer attacked a member of staff in a Gloucester bookmakers over a 50p bet

John Eamer attacked a member of staff in a Gloucester bookmakers over a 50p bet

First published in National News © by

A disgruntled punter who punched a female cashier in the face at a bookmakers after losing a bet worth £1.30 has escaped a prison sentence.

Cannabis addict John Eamer, 29, lunged across the counter at terrified Leanne Vallis and struck her twice after she told him he had lost the 50p wager - before calmly walking away.

The horrifying attack, which left the assistant with bruising and swelling below the eye, was caught on CCTV and Eamer was captured by police.

Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard jobless Eamer put a 50p bet on Germany to beat Portugal in their Euro 2012 clash on June 9.

But the "handicap" wager, placed at a Ladbrokes branch in Gloucester city centre, meant the Germans had to win 2-0 for him to collect the £1.30 jackpot.

Germany won 1-0 in the tournament group game but Eamer went into the bookies at 10.15am the next day convinced he had won. The gambler flipped when Ms Vallis told him he was not a winner, and after he was asked to leave the bookmakers he then attacked her, the court heard.

Derek Ryder, prosecuting, said: "Without warning he lunged over the counter and punched her twice in the face, knocking her glasses off, before he left the store. This was an attack on a lady who was serving the public."

The stunned cashier was left with heavy bruising, bleeding and swelling below her eye. Mr Ryder said Ms Vallis told police of her shock at the incident as nothing like this had happened before in the 14 years she has worked at Ladbrokes.

At an earlier hearing Eamer, of Cromwell Street, Gloucester, admitted a charge of assault by beating, which took place on June 10. The court heard that Eamer, who has served prison sentences for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery, is addicted to cannabis and has a £10 a day habit.

Eamer was sentenced to a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also made subject of a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and ordered to pay Ms Vallis £150 compensation and £50 prosecution costs.

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