Abu­sive bully in mop at­tack on neigh­bour

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @oliv­er­clayRWWN

A ‘BULLY’ who went berserk in Run­corn prod­ding his girl­friend’s neigh­bour with a mop and spit­ting in his face dur­ing a tor­rent of ver­bal abuse has re­ceived a com­mu­nity or­der.

Joseph McDon­ald, 26, of Ea­gles Way, Hall­wood Park, flipped just af­ter 8am on Au­gust 31, 2015, Ch­ester Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Matthew Dun­ford, pros­e­cut­ing, said trou­ble brewed af­ter the de­fen­dant’s girl­friend Cather­ine Ash­worth posted her mo­bile phone through her neigh­bour David Hughes’s let­ter box to make sure it was not thrown out dur­ing a row with McDon­ald.

Mr Hughes, who lived in a neigh­bour­ing flat, was awo­ken by the sound of ring­ing and found the phone on the floor with the woman’s grand­dad call­ing.

He heard raised voices and a door open and close be­fore the woman knocked on his front door and she burst in cry­ing and asked for her phone.

She said she had been in ar­gu­ment with McDon­ald so Mr Hughes made her a cup of cof­fee.

He could hear raised voices out­side, where McDon­ald, who was with an­other man, asked Mr Hughes ‘ Are you Dave?’ be­fore ask­ing if his girl­friend was in­side.

Con­cerned for the woman’s wel­fare, Mr Hughes made ex­cuses and was ac­cused of ‘ly­ing’.

When Miss Ash­worth ap­peared be­hind Mr Hughes, McDon­ald be­gan shout­ing and grabbed a mop from a bucket out­side the prop­erty and prod­ded the plas­tic han­dle into Mr Hughes’s ab­domen. ●

The de­fen­dant’s brother told him to ‘leave it’ but McDon­ald threw a bot­tle of juice in Mr Hughes’s face and ac­cused him of try­ing to se­duce a 20-yearold.

McDon­ald pushed Mr Hughes into his own flat, barged past and be­gan shout­ing at his girl­friend, say­ing ‘I need a blade, I’m go­ing to f***ing do him’, be­fore push­ing Mr Hughes some more.

He leaned in and spat in his vic­tim’s face and pushed again, caus­ing him to fall back onto the land­ing.

McDon­ald then took Mr Hughes’s rolling to­bacco and made him­self a cig­a­rette and called Mr Hughes a ‘ bald b***ard’, adding that he would ‘come back and f***ing do him’.

Mr Hughes re­turned to his flat and locked the door be­hind him, ‘shout­ing and abuse’ still au­di­ble out­side.

Po­lice in­ter­viewed McDon­ald who gave no com­ment an­swers, but later pleaded guilty to as­sault, and theft in re­la­tion to the to­bacco.

A count of bur­glary he had been ini­tially charged with was or­dered to lie on file.

Mr Dun­ford said Mr Hughes was found to have suf­fered bruis­ing to his left ring fin­ger dur­ing the fra­cas and found some­where else to stay af­ter the in­ci­dent.

The de­fen­dant’s pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions in­cluded bat­tery, as­sault oc­ca­sion- ing ac­tual bod­ily harm and theft.

Judge Si­mon Berk­son, pre­sid­ing, said his be­hav­iour on Au­gust 31, 2015, amounted to ‘bul­ly­ing re­ally, by a bully’.

He added that he had read two ref­er­ences from Zep UK writ­ten by health and safety of­fi­cers on the de­fen­dant’s be­half and he un­der­stood that McDon­ald had been ‘act­ing re­spon­si­bly’ in hold­ing down a job in the in­ter­ven­ing time since the of­fences.

In ad­di­tion his brother had died a year ago, she said.

Fol­low­ing a re­quest to speak from McDon­ald, Miss Beswick re­layed com­ments to the court that ‘he would like to say he’s very sorry’, that he is not the per­son he was and that lis­ten­ing to the case de­tails was ‘hor­ri­ble’.

Judge Berk­son slapped McDon­ald with a 12-month com­mu­nity or­der to run con­cur­rent for one count of as­sault and one of theft, in­clud­ing a 25-hour re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion re­quire­ment plus £200 com­pen­sa­tion and £250 in costs.

Sen­tenc­ing him, Judge Berk­son said: “The in­ci­dent you were in­volved in was a nasty in­ci­dent.

“It’s to spit in some­body’s face, par­tic­u­larly some­body who didn’t do any­thing.

“To steal his pouch of to­bacco wasn’t a crime of a ma­te­rial na­ture but you wanted to hurt the man fur­ther.” OR CALL

Joseph McDon­ald 26, leav­ing court

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