Gang hammer attack man jailed

Keith Harby
Keith Harby

A Long Eaton man, who staged three hammer attacks on a fitness instructor, has been jailed for 10 years.

Keith Harby, 39, was convicted after a two-week trial of conspiring with three other men to hit Kelly Batchelor over the head with a hammer-type object outside the leisure centre, where she worked in Poole, Dorset, and outside her home.

Winchester Crown Court heard how the plan had been hatched by one man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – because his girlfriend thought he was having an affair with Miss Batchelor. He was jailed for eight years.

Harby’s co-conspirators John Doyle, 35, of Alfreton, and Ian Edgeworth, 26, of Northwood Road, Nottingham, were jailed for seven years and four months and seven years respectively.

The first attack on Miss Batchelor took place at the leisure centre on August 30 last year as she returned to her car.

She escaped serious injury, thanks to intervention by the public.

The second incident happened on September 4 but was unsuccessful because the gang were unable to find their target. And on the third occasion, the next day, Miss Batchelor was attacked with a weapon as she returned home.