Cohan Semple pictured outside Ipswich Crown Court today before he was sentenced to 42 months in a young offenders institute for possession of Ecstasy and cannabis and assaulting a vulnerable man
An 18-year-old kitchen porter, who was part of the gang showered a 49-year-old woman with flour and eggs before posing for a photo, has been sentenced to 42 months behind bars for drug-dealing and assault.
Cohan Semple pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm after kicking and punching a vulnerable man in the street in Bury St Edmunds last year after his friend started attacking him when the man asked for money.
The criminal also pleaded guilty to possessing Ecstasy and cannabis with intent to supply after police found 14 wraps of the former, and 13 of the latter on his person, as well as more cannabis in his home.
Semple had been first caught with Ecstasy three months before he carried out the notorious attack on Janice Morris, on July 27 last year, as she sat on a bench in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Sentencing, Judge John Devaux handed Semple a 30 month term in a young offenders institute for possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and possession of cocaine and diazepam, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
He also sentenced him to an additional 12 months for the assault which will run consecutively to the drug sentences.
Semple also received 20 months for intent to supply Ecstasy on April 27.
The teenager was condemned worldwide after posting a picture of the attack on Miss Morris to his 20 snapchat followers, which was then uploaded to Facebook and widely shared.
In the image, taken by Semple, youths can be seen laughing and smiling behind their cowering victim who is covered in flour from head to toe.
All the teenagers involved were quickly recognised and arrested, but Semple was the only one to be identified because he turned 18 just before he appeared before Suffolk magistrates court in Ipswich.
Semple took this photo in July last year after he and his friends had covered 49-year-old Janice Morris with flour and eggs as she say in a park in Bury St Edmunds. He posted the image on snapchat for his 20 followers, which was then posted on social media and received international condemnation
Semple pictured in December last year as he arrived at Suffolk magistrates court to be sentenced for his part in the flour and egg attack. He was handed a 12-month community order with 60 hours unpaid work and a 20-hour rehabilitation activity requirement
He pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and was given a 12-month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work and a 20-hour rehabilitation activity requirement last December.
Semple, of Bury St Edmunds, was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to Miss Morris.
Sitting in the dock at Ipswich Crown court today wearing a smart black suit, the teenager looked visibly shocked when he received a custody sentence.
The court heard that he was already on bail for offences including drug dealing at the time of the flour and eggs attack.
Semple was arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft after he was found in possession of a crow bar in Bury St Edmunds on April 27 last year.
Police then found Cannabis and Ecstasy on him and in his home.
Prosecutor David Wilson said police also found text messages suggesting Semple was involved in the supply of drugs.
Cohan Semple pictured arriving at Suffolk magistrates court in December last year before being sentenced for his part in attacking a vulnerable woman in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
The bench that Miss Morris was sat on pictured following the attack. Five teenagers pleaded guilty to the crime
Some of the messages asked if he had any weed with one saying: ‘Help me out with half an ounce for a hundred’.
Mr Wilson added: ‘There are messages sent out offering the availability of drugs.’
Semple was arrested again on August 11 – two weeks after the flour and eggs attack – when he was found in the street with seven Ecstasy tablets. Police then found another 29 at his home.
Mr Wilson said the quantity involved was more than 15gms and was ‘indicative of street dealing’.
He added: ‘It is forming a pattern that is consistent. I can’t say he is high up and significant. There was a financial gain, but he had a lesser role.’
Semple also joined in a street attack on a vulnerable man called Matthew Banks who had been drinking heavily in Bury St Edmunds on October 15.
The court heard how Mr Banks was beaten up by Sam Mills, 20, after the victim asked him for money. Mills then invited Semple to join in the attack, and the teenage kicked the victim on the ground.
Mills was jailed for 48 months for intending to cause grievous bodily harm, but the court heard that Semple had carried out a lesser role in the attack.
Ipswich Crown court (stock image) where Cohan Semple was sentenced today
Isobel Ascherson, defending, said Semple did not have a significant role in drug dealing and only did it to pay for his own habit and clear drug debts.
She said that he had begun suffering mental health issues at the age of 15 and had turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate himself.
But she said his use of illegal substances had ‘aggravated and increased his mental health difficulties’.
She added that he had also been affected by national publicity about the flour and eggs attack and became a target for the public as he was the only offender to be named.
Ms Ascherson described Semple’s mental health as being ‘in a spiral of decline’ over last summer.
Judge John Devaux said the offences went over the custody threshold and turned down a plea for Semple to be given a suspended sentence.
Miss Morris, who is schizophrenic and alcohol dependent, was attacked after she went to enjoy the evening sun in the park off St Olaves Road on the Howard estate near her home in Bury St Edmunds.
She was spat at by the teenagers who jokingly asked her if she wanted to buy drugs before she was pelted with the flour and eggs bought by three of the youths from a local Spar shop.
Two youths aged 16, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who all cannot be identified due to their age admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour towards Miss Morris at Suffolk youth court last November
They were each given a 12 month referral order during separate hearings and ordered to pay £100 compensation to their victim, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.
Another 17-year-old youth pleaded not guilty to the same charge, saying he had simply come across the incident and joined in by posing with the others for the picture.
But the teenager was found guilty at the youth court and given a three month reparation order requiring him to do 24 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to Miss Morris and £620 costs with a £20 victim surcharge.