A Welwyn Garden City man with a drink problem was jailed on the 28th August 2014 after he fractured a woman’s cheekbone with a hammer.
The 45-year-old aimed a blow at a man who had come to his flat to drink cider, but he moved out of the way and the hammer struck a woman, knocking her out.
When the police arrived, he told them: “I wanted those slags out of my flat. I went to hit him with the hammer, but accidentally hit her.”
Prosecutor Simon Ash told St Albans crown court that the woman, who was bleeding, came round and was taken to hospital where she was treated for bruising and a fracture to her left cheek bone.
The defendant pleaded guilty to wounding on 14 August 2013. He had one previous conviction for causing actual bodily harm 30 years ago in 1984. In 1993 he was convicted of a non-domestic burglary. In 2012 and 2013 he was convicted of shoplifting. Magistrates had placed him on an alcohol treatment programme, but he had not completed the course and was given a curfew.
Our solicitor say”He made admissions to the police at the scene and when questioned at the police station. The people invited themselves into his home. He was a reluctant participant. He has not been involved in violence for 30 years. This was out of character.
“The case against him had been listed for trial, but he pleaded guilty on the day, even though the other man had passed away and the woman had not been keen to give evidence. He did not seek to exploit those factors and contest the case.”
It was said the man, who is on benefits, was taking steps to control his alcohol consumption, which he had reduced from 2 litres of cider a day to 2 cans. “He will continue to try to get help. He is intending to deal with his underlying alcohol issues,” he said.
Recorder Nerys Jefford QC said “This was a serious offence. You hit a woman with a hammer and caused her injury. You have a long history of alcohol abuse.”
Having heard our mitigation she said she reduced the sentence she would have passed from 20 months in jail to one of 16 months.