Schizophrenic Pizza Hut delivery driver from Gants Hill attacked woman after his medication was changed

Barkingside Magistrates' Court. Picture: Ken Mears

Barkingside Magistrates' Court. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A delivery driver who attacked a council worker after dropping off pizzas for a town hall Christmas party won’t go to jail.

Eugene Oteng of Florence Root House, Inglehurst Gardens, Gants Hill, whacked his victim round the head with a delivery bag and shouted a racist slur outside Barking Town Hall on December 21 last year. The woman, who works for Barking and Dagenham Council’s environmental health department, stumbled due to the force of the blow.

The attack in Town Hall Square left the shocked victim with a swollen eye.

The court heard that 41-year-old Oteng, a schizophrenic, reacted very badly when his medication was changed before the attack.

He was put straight back on his old medicine as soon as possible after committing the attack.

In a statement read in court, the victim said: “I was scared as to what this man was going to do next.

“This incident left me feeling very scared. I’m now very nervous this could happen again.

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“It was a random and unprovoked attack leaving me fearful of what could happen in the future.”

Oteng fled on his moped following the assault but police tracked him down by contacting his employer, Pizza Hut, for whom he has worked for two years.

The judge heard that Oteng was still in crisis and felt remorseful and sorry for what he had done.

“He was quite uneasy and feeling drowsy at the time,” he heard. “The change in medication had affected his judgement.”

It was also Oteng’s first violent offence and an isolated incident. There was no history of any sort of violence, the court heard. Oteng, who was homeless in the past, had also won awards for driving from his employer.

He pleaded guilty to one count of racially aggravated assault at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Judge Lucie, sentencing Oteng to a 15-month conditional discharge, said: “You get full credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

“It’s really important you stay out of trouble. If you commit another offence during that time you can be sentenced.”

Oteng was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim and £100 costs.