Disabled man had jaw broken in rubbish row

Sheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court
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A nuisance neighbour narrowly escaped a jail term for a ‘one-punch’ attack on a disabled man which let him with a broken jaw.

Anthony Willis, aged 24, lived in the flat above 36-year-old Paul Carter who had both feet amputated when he was a child and knew the defendant as they grew up together in the same area.

But Mr Carter became angry with Willis throwing rubbish out of his window at the block of flats they lived in at Monsall Street, Thurnscoe, Barnsley.

It also distressed an old lady living below and Mr Carter asked Willis, who had only lived in the flats for four months, to stop on numerous occasions, said Laura McBride, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mr Carter was drinking a can of beer outside a shop in the village when Willis was walked past and he confronted him bout the rubbish.

The disabled man said he suddenly felt a blow to the face which knocked him backwards.

Mr Carter looked up to see the defendant walk away and say: “You won’t mouth at me again.”

The victim suffered a broken jaw, two cuts to his forehead and bruising and swelling to his face and needed hospital treatment.

The assault was reported to the police by a third party and Willis was arrested.

He was released on bail but seven hours later Mr Carter was at home when he heard noises at his window in the early hours.

He found two men outside, one of them Willis, and the word ‘Grass’ spray-painted on the glass.

Mr Carter said the assault had left him shaken and upset and Willis knew of his difficulties.

“Knowing I’m disabled he still hit me,” he said.

He is still having hospital treatment and the stress has caused him to lose some of his hair.

“I now don’t go out as frequently and it has knocked my confidence,” he said.

Willis, now of King Street, Goldthorpe, admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm and witness intimidation.

Daniel Church, defending, said he had mental health problems.

Recorder Gary Cook told Willis: “The victim was particularly vulnerable and you were aware of that.”

He gave Willis a 16-month jail term suspended for two years with 18 months’ supervision and mental health treatment.

He was given a restraining order and banned from contacting Mr Carter for five years.