Judge 'deeply troubled' by yob's habit of picking up bricks for assaults

A MAN who habitually carried bricks around with him for protection narrowly escaped jail after assaulting two rivals.

Andrew Sharp, aged 23, was warned by a judge he faced a 21-month prison sentence if he breached the conditions of remaining at liberty.

"I'm deeply troubled by this habit you seem to be developing of picking up bricks and using them," he was told by Mr Recorder Tahir Khan.

Prosecutor Chris Tonge told Sheffield Crown Court Sharp first attacked Matthew Naylor on April 21 last year as he walked along Queen Street, Barnsley, with his ex-partner Kelly Marsden.

Sharp punched Mr Naylor on the chin and he retaliated by pushing Sharp backwards.

Sharp had a brick in his right hand and hit Mr Naylor with it, knocking him to the ground senseless. Sharp then kicked his victim in the back.

Mr Naylor was left with bruising and swelling to his face.

Sharp told police he was acting in self-defence but admitted hitting his victim "again and again and again".

While on bail for the attack, Sharp spotted Mr Naylor in his car with his partner and four-year-old child on Harborough Hill Road, Barnsley, on August 4.

Sharp ran up with a large brick in his hand shouting: "Just get out." Mr Naylor rang the police and Sharp ran off.

A third incident, said Mr Tonge, happened on October 13 when Philip Bunting, 16, was walking into the town centre with a group of people including Miss Marsden.

A row broke out between Sharp and his ex-partner and Sharp was seen with a brick wrapped in a pillow case.

When 16-year-old Philip intervened he was punched to the chin and shoulder by Sharp.

The defendant later that evening kicked in the front door of Miss Marsden's home and smashed a window while still carrying the brick, in breach of a court order restraining him from contacting her.

Sharp, of Gerald Road, Kendray, Barnsley, admitted the three separate offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, witness intimidation and battery.

His barrister John Hillis said he now realised his relationship with Miss Marsden was over and he was anxious to avoid any further trouble. He was desperate to show his family he had changed his behaviour.

Recorder Khan told Sharp he was giving him "another chance" and gave him a two-year community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. A condition is that he lives at Gerald Road with his sister and brother. The restraining order is still in force.

The judge warned Sharp the offences would merit 21 months in prison if he breached the orders.

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