Three jailed over daylight attack on neighbour in Hartlepool street

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Three men have been jailed for a prolonged attack on a neighbour in Hartlepool.

The judge who saw CCTV footage of the daylight attack said that the victim was lucky that he was not more seriously injured by their kicks and punches.

The victim Nathan Smith, 28, who was sitting on his window ledge outside his home in Dent Street, Hartlepool, on the afternoon of June 2 last year, declined to co-operate with police, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Community support officers arrived on the scene with police who arrested all of them for actual bodily harm assault, which they admitted.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said that it was a very ugly incident of violence and a prolonged attack.

David Rutherford, 40, from Dent Street, Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Prison, was jailed for 12 months, Andrew Craig, 53, also of Dent Street, and Craig Welldrake, 33, of Yeovil Walk, Hartlepool, were both jailed for eight months.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said that Rutherford had been taking alcohol treatment while in Durham Prison on remand, and he had been given a joinery job in the jail.

When Weldrake was searched he had a knife tucked into his sock, but it did not feature in the assault.

He said that he was intoxicated during the incident, said Ian West, prosecuting.

The court heard that Rutherford apologised.

Craig was subject to an 18 month suspended jail sentence for permitting his flat to be used in the supply of Class A drugs crack cocaine.

The judge said that it was clear from the CCTV footage that the victim was putting up no resistance to the blows that were directed at him.

The evidence was that Rutherford was the prime mover and there were several occasions when he had used his fists and his foot.