South Yorkshire man beat up his ‘uncle’ with bat

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A MAN armed himself with a baseball bat before beating and punching a friend he regarded as his uncle after he felt he had been wronged, a court heard.

Dale Kelly, aged 26, took exception after hearing about the behaviour of Ian Gillespie towards his mother and rang him to arrange a fight between them outside The Travellers pub at Swinton at 2am.

Kelly arrived by car with a baseball bat and struck the victim three times, twice on the arm and once on the neck, before breaking the bat.

He then set about punching 36-year-old Mr Gillespie several times to the face and body in a five-minute scuffle, David Wain, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.

The victim suffered a broken tooth, fractured elbow and bruising to his face.

He had to take 10 days off work, suffered a great deal of pain, and felt he had done nothing to provoke the violence meted out against him.

Adrian Rawlinson, defending Kelly, said the incident happened on April 9 this year and been ‘nothing short of a disaster’ for the Kelly and the rest of his family.

It was ‘totally out of character’, Mr Rawlinson claimed, and said the victim was - and still is - a close family friend to whom Kelly even refers affectionately as his ‘fake uncle’.

He said Kelly had lost his temper due to a ‘gross overreaction’ to a situation, and had been remanded in custody since the attack.

His time already spent behind bars meant he has been unable to see or spend time with his five-year-old daughter, whom he dotes upon.

Kelly, of Albert Road, Mexborough, near Rotherham, admitted committing grievous bodily harm with intent and he pleaded guilt to possessing an offensive weapon.

He had already been given a suspended jail term in February last year for producing cannabis plants.

Judge Jeremy Baker said the entire situation came about because of a misunderstanding and said it was a ‘sustained’ attack which had caused Mr Gillespie to fall to the ground.

“The tragedy of this matter is that your victim is known to you and hitherto had been a friend of your family,” he told Kelly in the dock.

He said there was a ‘significant’ degree of premeditation and said that he had attempted to dispose of the baseball bat and the clothes he had been wearing, to hamper police inquiries.

The case passed the custody threshold but, to Kelly’s credit, he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had expressed remorse to the victim.

Kelly was jailed for a total of 30 months.

Both he and family members in the public gallery wept as he was sent down.