Man jailed for punching steward and chauffeur at Minster service

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A man has been jailed for 15 months for assaulting two people at a service in York Minster attended by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Scott Apps was described as an “unconventional man” by his counsel Michael Collins when he was sentenced yesterday at Leeds Crown Court.

Apps, 42, who was living in a tent on an allotment in York by choice at the time, was unanimously found guilty by a jury in December of common assault on volunteer steward Sean Atkinson and of an assault causing actual bodily harm on the Archbishop of York’s chauffeur, David Smith whose nose was broken.

During a three-day trial the jury heard a service for the General Synod was taking place on July 7, last year beginning with a procession including both Archbishops when Apps punched his two victims.

At sentencing yesterday Recorder Andrew Dallas said the struggle “must have been upsetting and distressing for many people”.

The effect of the injury to Mr Smith in particular was long lasting. He had headaches for three weeks, blurred vision and still suffers from obstructed breathing.

He had to surrender his driving licence since the assault, having to give up his work as a driver and “his future is extremely uncertain”.

Recorder Dallas said at the trial Apps had shown no remorse. “I never saw your face, manner or speech at any stage show the slightest remorse for what you did, not the slightest.”

Mr Collins told the court Apps had attended services at the Minster before and believed some of those officials had formed a grudge against him.