Abusive bully in mop attack on neighbour
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