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Chester-le-Street pensioner attacked with own walking stick
AN elderly man was attacked with his own walking stick outside a town centre pub.
The duo who carried out the drunken assault, Gavin William Wilkinson and James Richard Ball, have each been jailed for two years.
Durham Crown Court heard they turned on the 65- year-old man after words were exchanged earlier inside The Bridge, in Chester-le- Street.
The court heard that the victim and one of the pair had a previous disagreement.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said they all happened to be at the Bridge End premises on February 22.
Ball approached the man and mentioned the previous dispute.
“He was of the opinion that the victim had been trying to ‘pull’ his girlfriend, although she was spoken to later and knew nothing of it,” said Mr Newcombe.
He added that Wilkinson punched the man to the head outside the pub.
Ball grabbed his walking stick and hit him with such force that it snapped.
Mr Newcombe said that Wilkinson then appeared with a piece of wood which he also used to strike the man.
The court heard the victim suffered extensive bruising to his upper body, and a gash to the head which was treated with staples.
Ball, 24, of Wilfrid Street, Chester-le-Street , and 22-yearold Wilkinson, of Sandyford Place, in nearby Pelton, both admitted unlawful wounding.
Anne Richardson, for Wilkinson, and Robert Newcombe, for Ball, told the court it was a “spur of the moment”
offence, committed in drink, and both now regret their actions.
Miss Richardson said Wilkinson has little recollection of events that night and has already suffered some “summary justice” by being attacked himself since the incident.
Mr Newcombe said Ball has trained as a chef while in custody, inspired by a Gordon Ramsay television programme, and hopes to make use of his new skills when released from prison.
Jailing both, Judge Les Spittle told them: “This man did nothing wrong that night, yet you attacked him with weapons, brought him to his knees, and left him bleeding in the road. It was serious violence, committed by what can only be described as a pair of thugs.”