Victim of attack used cannabis

THE victim of a vicious assault who is said to be lucky to be alive landed himself in court after using cannabis to get over his ordeal.

Andrew Bartolo was hauled before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court for giving a small amount of cannabis to his brother to hide in his mum’s house.

Town justices were told the 26 year old had been using the drug after he suffered a horrific attack that left medics having to “put his face back together”.

He gave a small bag of the drug to his brother, Michael Bartolo, to put in his old bedroom, but police stopped him after smelling the pungent plant in the street.

Andrew Bartolo admitted supplying a class B drug on February 25 and was given a four-week community order with a curfew from 8pm-7am each day.

The dad-of-two, from Gilberti Place, Hartlepool, was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs.

Barry Gray, mitigating, said: “My client is very, very lucky to still be here.

“His injuries were horrific and, despite his best efforts, he still has limited memory recall.

“He was knocked unconscious with a whole brick or a shovel, something like that.

“He was hit several times and suffered multiple fractures. His face had to be put back together.

“He had been misusing cannabis due to the difficulties this assault has caused.”

Mr Gray said that Bartolo was offered a larger quantity of cannabis than usual by a dealer and took it as he “doesn’t drink”.

Mr Gray added: “There is no commercial gain here, this was given to his brother and was going to be put in his old bedroom.

“He’s not giving it to someone to use. It’s because of the problems that he has.”

Lilian Atkinson, prosecuting, said police saw the defendant’s brother walking down the street and could smell cannabis on him.

She continued: “They discovered the defendant had given this man a small bag of cannabis and has asked him to take it to his mother’s house for storage.

“When the defendant was questioned, he said it was for pain relief, it was all his and it had only ever been used by himself.”

The court was told that no-one has been charged with assaulting Bartolo but he hopes “those responsible are brought to justice”.

Michael Bartolo has not been charged with any offence.