Mansfield man attacked with spade and hammer after argument boils over
A visitor to a Mansfield man’s home used a spade and hammer to attack him after an argument boiled over, a court was told.
But Lee Clarke (32) was spared an immediate prison sentence after a judge heard the details.
The tools were at hand because renovation work was being carried out in Richard Lunness’s front room in Broxtowe Drive.
It was alleged Clarke, described as his former brother-in-law, began ‘raging and screaming’ after hearing allegations made against Mr Lunness by another man.
They were not true, but Clarke believed they were, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
The court was told Clarke swung the spade, striking his victim with three blows to his leg.
The victim said he thought his attacker was going to smash his skull.
Clarke swung the hammer at his head, he said, landing a blow behind his ear.
There was a struggle and Clarke told Mr Lunness he should leave his home, said Jon Fountain, prosecuting.
Two young girls were screaming and crying in the background.
Mr Lunness broke free and ran upstairs, but Clarke followed him with the spade and hammer and sat on his chest.
Mr Lunness got away and called the police, who arrived at the house.
He went to King’s Mill hospital where he was found to have cuts and bruises.
When arrested Clarke, of Tennyson Street, Mansfield, at first said he was only defending himself. He later pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. A more serious charge of attempted grievous bodily harm was dropped.
Clarke’s barrister Gregor Purcell said his client had been out of trouble for five years and was in employment. He had problems resulting from drinking and it had been a row that got out of hand.
Judge Jonathan Teare said he had to take Mr Lunnesss’s account ‘with a pinch of salt.’
On his version of events two weapons had been used in an episode of gross violence against a defenceless man.
But if the spade had been swung at him in the way described he would have suffered fractures instead of minor cuts.
The sentence was nine months prison suspended for two years, with probation supervision and a restraining order banning him from approaching Mr Lunness or going to Broxtowe Drive.
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