Hartlepool man committed grievous bodily harm in early hours disturbance

A man went beyond self-defence when he attacked a man who refused to leave his home.

Monday, 30th May 2022, 10:05 am

John Lees, 38, kicked the victim several times in the head while he lay on the ground after throwing him out of his house in Freemantle Grove, Hartlepool.

Teesside Crown Court heard the victim attended Lees’ house in the early hours on February 18 this year and began searching through drawers upstairs.

When he refused to leave the man is said to have brandished a kitchen knife and punched Lees.

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The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court, in Middlesbrough. Picture by FRANK REID

He used force to evict him, but once outside Lees’ actions went “from lawful to criminal”, the court heard.

A neighbour called the police after hearing banging and screaming at about 2.30 in the morning, and Lees shouting ‘don’t hit me in my own house’.

He was seen to aim several kicks towards the victim’s head.

Jonathan Harley, prosecuting, said: “He was lying on his back visibly bleeding from the face.”

The victim was taken to the emergency department at North Tees hospital where he was found to have four cuts to his head that were treated with sutures and staples.

Lees, of Freemantle Grove, admitted a single charge of unlawful wounding.

The court heard he has mental health and substance misuse issues which contributed to his lack of control.

The judge, Recorder Nathan Adams, said: “Your actions turned from lawful to criminal by kicking him repeatedly to the head while on the ground.”

Lees was given an 18-month community order, including 12 months drug rehabilitation, after spending time in prison on remand.

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