Man who attacked a cancer sufferer with metal bar avoids jail
WOMAN HAD UNDERGONE CHEMO ON THE DAY OF ASSAULT
A CANCER sufferer was attacked with a metal bar in a shocking attack during which her wig came off – but the man responsible has walked free.
The victim had just undergone chemotherapy on the day of the attack when she was struck with the weapon by Aaron Stephenson.
A court heard the woman, who has since died, was left with bruising to her back following the assault in Ashington, Northumberland.
Now Stephenson, 25, of Woodhorn Road, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, who was convicted after a trial of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and having an offensive weapon, has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said: “There’s a vulnerable victim who was, at the time, suffering from cancer and had just undergone chemotherapy on the day in question, and there was the use of a weapon.
“The location of the offence was outside the family home of her mother and father and son.
“The defendant has previous convictions for offences including violence.
“The complainant was struck a single blow which left a bruise across her back. It was not the most serious of injuries.
“There was the additional factor of humiliation. She found herself having her wig removed, having lost her hair due to chemotherapy.”
The assault happened in Beatrice Street, Ashington, in July 2016, following a disagreement.
It is not clear whether Stephenson pulled the woman’s wig off and he denied it. Her son came to intervene and police were called.
The woman was left with a bruise to her back but did not need medical treatment.
She died before the trial but her statement about what happened was read to jurors.
Bank notes fell from Stephenson’s pocket in the street as he was chased by the victim’s son. Prosecutors said a number of men then turned up at the address demanding money.
The judge said since the attack, Stephenson was made subject to a suspended sentence in September last year and had “completed a number of courses and completed them well”. Recorder Sandiford added: “He has responded well to the supervision offered to him and he seems to have gained insight to his previous offending behaviour and says he wants to stay out of trouble in future.
“His grandparents are cited as a stabilising factor and the intention is for him to go and live with them if he is released today.” The court heard Stephenson had spent six weeks remanded in custody for the attack plus a further four weeks for other matters which he was cleared of. He also spent time on a tag. He was sentenced to two years suspended for 18 months with a three -month curfew between 9pm and 7am and a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the family of the victim.
She found herself having her wig removed, having lost her hair due to chemotherapy.