A THUG refused to appear before a judge for sentencing after attacking two elderly women in a Dewsbury church.
Khevin Ngibi, 18, claimed he needed to perform religious rituals before coming into court. But the Congolsese national then refused to move from the cells at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.
In Ngibi’s absence, Judge Michael Fanning sentenced him to six months in prison. He was also given an indefinite restraining order banning him from returning to St Paulinus Church.
It followed an incident on October 10 last year when Ngibi went into the church wearing a motorcycle helmet.
He headed to pews where an 81-year-old woman was sitting with her sister and asked to join them.
Jill Seddon, prosecuting, said Ngibi wanted her to move along so he could sit in between them.
She said: “The complainant said she would move along but wanted to sit next to her sister and he tried to force her out of the seat.” Ngibi, of Wellington Street, Heckmondwike, then slapped her in the face so hard that her glasses came off.
Another parishioner aged in his 60s was punched repeatedly by Ngibi as he rushed to her aid.
Mrs Seddon said: “Police were called and, as the complainant tried to hold onto him, the defendant punched him to the face and head more than once.”
Ngibi, previously held under the Mental Health Act, denied two assaults but failed to attend his trial last month.
He was found guilty by magistrates and Judge Fanning said: “This is as unpleasant an episode as can be imagined.
“Churches are traditionally places of sanctuary (and) these are elderly parishioners.”