Telford man disabled CCTV camera before 'impulsive' attack over owed money

A Telford man has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting attacking a man with a bunch of keys held in his fist.

Shrewsbury Justice Centre / Shrewsbury Crown Court
Shrewsbury Justice Centre / Shrewsbury Crown Court

Colin Robson, aged 33, of Lodge Court, in Donnington, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Monday for sentencing on charges of actual bodily harm and criminal damage, nearly three years after incidents on January 25, 2020.

The court heard that legal issues had caused the long delay in justice being served, even after Robson had on April 19, 2020 admitted at magistrates court to a charge of causing ABH to Kirk McPherson.

Judge Peter Barrie said on Monday that even though Robson had a legitimate grievance against Mr McPherson over money he was owed it did not justify his use of violence.

The court was told that Mr McPherson had received head injuries and cuts during a fight in a back garden. The judge was told that he had been carrying a spanner.

Judge Barrie rejected Robson's mitigation that he had used "excessive self-defence" in an attack that was "impulsive, spontaneous and short-lived." The judge was also told that McPherson had not suffered serious physical injury because his injuries had been closed by using medical glue and not stitches.

The court was told that Robson had also damaged a CCTV camera at Mr McPherson's property to the value of £30.

The court was also told that Robson's family relationships, through his girlfriend, had been damaged and he had been isolated from his two-year-old child. Members of the family had to "pick sides" following the incident after which he had been labelled a criminal.

The court was told that Robson had shown genuine remorse for the incident which had been "out of character" and there had been no further offending.

Judge Barrie said Robson had a "legitimate grievance" but he went to Mr McPherson's house and disabled a CCTV camera. "This had the obvious implication that something might happen that you did not want people to see after.

"There is nothing to justify resorting to violence - self-defence is not what I see. It is nonsense to describe this as excessive self-defence. There was a gash to the back of Mr McPherson's head and lacerations which were very frightening and distressing."

Judge Barrie sentenced Robson to 16 months in prison for causing actual bodily harm but suspended the sentence for 18 months.

He also ordered Robson to carry out 33 days of rehabilitation work but rejected imposing a curfew.

No separate penalty was imposed on him for the criminal damage to the CCTV camera.

Because Robson was on benefits and for the "nature of the dispute and the family rift" judge Barrie rejected a call for compensation.

Robson was ordered to pay £100 for the prosecution costs, to be repaid at £5 per week.

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