Judge adjourns sentence for bat assault to assess potential 'danger' of attacker (From The Advertiser Series)
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Judge adjourns sentence for bat assault in Meadowfield to assess potential danger of attacker.
A JUDGE has asked for consideration to be made over the potential “dangerousness” of a defendant with a history of violence.
It follows Gary Todd’s ‘guilty’ plea to a charge of unlawful and malicious wounding at Durham Crown Court today (Monday February 4).
Todd, 45, was said to have used a blunt instrument, some form of bat, to strike a man three times over the head in a confrontation which began on the landing of a house in Meadowfield, near Durham, on November 21.
Lynsey Colling, prosecuting, said the victim suffered three lacerations to his head, of between 3cm and 5cm in length.
Two were sealed with medical glue and the third with sutures, but she said he suffered no fractures.
Stephen Constantine, for Todd, told the court: “He indicated he would be making a ‘guilty’ plea from the case first coming to the magistrates’ court.
“He’s under no illusion. There’s an inevitability about the eventual sentence.
“He knows it’s going to be a custodial sentence and the only question is, how long?
“A weapon was used, but although there were three blows it could not be said to have been a sustained attack.
“It was three blows with the use of a bat, but even the complainant says it took place over a short space of time.
“The medical report says the injuries were consistent with three blows with a blunt instrument.”
Mr Constantine said his client wanted to “discover his fate” and asked for him to be sentenced immediately at today’s hearing.
Judge Christopher Prince, however, referred to Todd’s antecedent history.
“I’m afraid I’m not going to sentence him today.
“An assessment needs to be made over the potential ‘dangerousness’ of the defendant.
“We have someone here who received a lengthy sentence, of four years, for wounding with intent in 2005, while he also has an assault/battery charge on his record from 2011.
“It’s definitely a case where I want the Probation Service, in drawing up a pre-sentence background report, to address the issue of dangerousness.”
Judge Prince remanded Todd, of no fixed abode, in custody until the sentencing hearing, on Friday, March 1.