Allotment attacker jailed

A MAN who battered a criminal and then drove him to hospital with multiple injuries has been jailed for four years.

Vincent Wilkinson, 52, put the intruder Stephen Pugh into a wheelchair and pushed him into A&E suffering from a broken back, broken leg, broken arm and broken nose, and severe bruising all over his body.

Pugh, 34, who had a criminal record, was kept in the University Hospital of North Durham for several weeks after surgery on his injuries, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Wilkinson admitted he had punched him several times in the face, but he pleaded guilty to causing his injuries on the basis it was a joint enterprise, said prosecutor Robert Adams.

A blood-stained pickaxe handle was found in one of Wilkinson’s vehicles, but prosecutors accepted his claim someone else had used it to beat Pugh.

A 14-page psychiatric report said Wilkinson had suffered a savage beating in March 2007 which could have triggered off an attack of paranoia and aggression when he found three men stealing two quad bikes from his allotment in Horden at 10.20pm on January 26.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Wilkinson had been a hardworking and law-abiding citizen until he was attacked in 2007 which left him with mental problems and on medication.

He had been in custody since his January arrest.

Mr Constantine said the intruders had loaded the quad bikes onto a pick-up truck which they had taken from another compound, and when Wilkinson arrived on the scene, two of the would-be burglars climbed a fence to escape.

A third intruder attacked him from behind, knocking him to the ground.

Wilkinson then and asked someone else for help and they searched the allotment.

The prosecutor told the judge that Pugh provided a number of different accounts of what happened and told police that Wilkinson and the other man were trying to find out who his accomplices were and who had sent them.

Mr Adams said it was accepted that Pugh was disturbed in breaking into the premises.

He added: “Pugh is now serving four years for kidnap, with a co-accused who is serving six years. He has been in trouble with the law on a number of occasions.

“The defendant does not accept that he caused the injuries, but he accepts joint responsibility for them on the basis of joint enterprise.”

Judge George Moorhouse told Wilkinson that he had initially considered jailing him for six years before taking the mitigating factors into consideration.

The judge added: “Another matter which I take into consideration is that you took the injured party to hospital in a wheelchair and into the A&E department.

“It’s quite clear that since the incident in 2007 you have been suffering from post traumatic distress disorder.”

Wilkinson, of Hatfield Place, Peterlee, whose wife and daughter were in court, was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.