Town centre crutch attacker who injured four victims faces jail

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.
Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

A thug who ran riot attacking four people with a crutch in broad daylight in Chesterfield town centre is facing a prison sentence.

Derby Crown Court heard today, Wednesday, November 2, how Paul Walker, 27, of Broom Avenue, Pilsley, near Chesterfield, carried out the attacks on Michael Spicer, Patrick Archbold, Scott Clarke and Gavin Woolley.

Pictured is Beetwell Street, Chesterfield.

Pictured is Beetwell Street, Chesterfield.

Mr Woolley was so badly injured, according to a previous Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing, he needed surgery and underwent treatment for a bleed to the brain.

Judge Nirmal Shant QC told the Derby Crown Court hearing today: “These are serious matters and the starting point is definitely custody.”

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop had told the previous Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on October 5 that Walker had armed himself with a crutch and struck a number of males within minutes of each other and there was a clear link between the offences.

The incident occurred during a dispute and altercation between Knifesmith Gate and Beetwell Street on Monday afternoon, October 3, between Walker and the complainants Mr Spicer and Mr Archbold, according to Mrs Allsop.

Walker struck Mr Archbold on the back of his head in Beetwell Street, according to Mrs Allsop, and Mr Spicer was struck to his hand.

The magistrates’ court had heard how Mr Archbold was joined by Scott Clarke and Gavin Woolley and Mr Clarke was struck in his back by Walker.

Mrs Allsop added that subsequently Mr Woolley, who had to be hospitalised, was struck to the head by Walker with the crutch as he was heading up the downward-moving escalator leading from the town library.

Walker pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court to causing grievous bodily harm against Mr Woolley and pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm concerning the attacks to Mr Archbold, Mr Spicer and Mr Clarke.

Defence barrister Kevin Jones successfully requested that a probation service report be considered before sentencing Walker.

Walker, who has previous convictions, had his case adjourned until November 23 when he will be sentenced.

Judge Shant QC said it is likely the court will conclude that this case merits a custodial sentence but she was willing to consider a pre-sentence report and all alternatives.

She added: “Custody may well be the end point but it’s right that all information is before the court.”

Walker was remanded in custody until his Derby Crown Court sentencing hearing.