Dad-to-be, 22, jailed for Telford social club knife attack

A father-to-be has been jailed for cutting a stranger with a knife at a Telford social club and then fleeing in another man’s car.

Dreece Bateman
Dreece Bateman

Masked Dreece Bateman, 22, had earlier on the evening got into an argument with a group of men at Donnington Sports & Social Club after taking illicit drugs and drinking.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard he left the premises but returned armed with a kitchen knife.

It was told the injured man David Williams, his brother Michael and relative Robert Hill went to the venue to watch televised boxing when they were approached by Bateman who offered them illicit drugs.

The group refused and Bateman took offence. He stepped towards them, leading to him being punched by Mr Hill.

Prosecuting barrister Mr Neil Ajula said: “The defendant told them ‘I’m going to stab you, you don’t know who you’re dealing with’. Then around 30 to 40 minutes later he returned armed with with a knife which was captured on CCTV and was seen by a witness.

“The defendant drove into the car park quickly in his own car, screeching to a halt while wearing a balaclava and a hooded top with a big knife. He went inside and went towards Mr Hill, then chased him round the club. Mr Hill used a chair as a shield to protect himself.

“David Williams was sitting a a table and as the defendant swung the knife around in a provocative way the knife struck Mr Williams’s arm causing it to bleed. It is clear from photographs that it caused a two to three-inch wound.”

The footage was shown to the court of the moment Bateman arrived at the Turreff Avenue club in Donnington, wearing a mask and carrying a kitchen knife, before entering, then leaving minutes later in a Ford Focus belonging to Michael Williams.

Ignition

Mr Williams, who was in the car park when Bateman returned, got out of his vehicle but left the keys in the ignition when he saw the defendant.

Bateman, a labourer of Riben Road, Hadley, was arrested two days after the attack,which happened on March 24. He pleaded guilty to wounding, affray, taking a vehicle without consent and possession of an offensive weapon at yesterday’s hearing.

Miss Debra White, defending, said: “His pleas and his age are his best mitigation. He understands that the most likely outcome will be a custodial sentence. He is under no illusions about that. He himself subjected to punches while he was on the floor during the incident.”

She said his partner was due to give birth next month and that he hoped to go to college on his release.

Judge Jonathan Gosling sentenced Bateman to a total of two years and six months minus the five months already spent in custody on remand. He must serve half the term before being released on licence. He was also banned from driving for 12 months on release.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions dating to 2014 for possession of a blade, assault, criminal damage, and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Judge Gosling said: “You caused a serious deep cut which will scar David Williams who had six stitches as a result. It’s not surprising that he has since suffered from disturbed sleep and not to being able to go out to socialise.”

He added that the offences were of high culpability and were just about in category two under the sentencing guidelines.

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