Attacked in own home

A VIOLENT thug attacked a man in his own home after being invited in for a drink.

Aaron Bakalar and Leslie Swainston went to the home of Stephen Macmillan, in Grasmere Street, Hartlepool, and the group drank alcohol together.

But Teesside Crown Court heard Bakalar, who has numerous violence-related offences on his record, became aggressive.

Mr Swainston tried to calm him down, but a “fracas” broke out between the two of them, said prosecutor Robin Turton.

He added: “When Mr Macmillan tried to intervene to calm things down, he was punched, causing a cut to the eye.”

The court heard Bakalar was interviewed by police and denied assaulting Mr Macmillan, 51.

Mr Turton said Bakalar, 24, has convictions dating back 10 years relating to problems with alcohol and his temper.

He said these include offences for being drunk and disorderly, driving matters involving alcohol and public order matters.

He previously received a 12-month community order for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and last year he was convicted for assaulting a police officer, as well as two counts of battery, for which he received a prison sentence.

Bakalar was due to stand trial last month accused of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm on Mr Macmillan.

But the trial was dropped after Bakalar admitted the lesser charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the offence on July 10 last year.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said Bakalar had shown genuine remorse and accepted full responsibility for his actions that day.

He said at the time of the offence, he was having problems with his ex-girlfriend and access to his child and had “gone off the rails”.

Mr Scarborough said: “There was a small laceration to the eye.

“There was no premeditation, it was an argument that got out of hand and he threw a punch.”

Bakalar, of Garnet Street, Sunderland, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with 12 months supervision.

Recorder Michael Slater told him: “Looking at your record, I think it’s inevitable if you transgress you will be going in the other direction.”