Thug broke victim's leg in Alvaston fire extinguisher attack

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A 49-year-old Derby man attacked a neighbour with a fire extinguisher because he was “making too much noise”.

A court heard how Kenneth Barks grabbed the implement from the wall of the YMCA in London Road and hit the victim with such force he caused a fracture to his leg.

During the attack he struck the man “several times as he curled up on a ball on the floor” and only stopped when the victim “felt a searing pain” to his leg.

Now he has been handed a suspended prison sentence as he showed genuine remorse, was frank in admitting what he had done and had not been in any trouble for almost 30 years.

Edna Leonard, prosecuting at Derby Crown Court, said the assault took place in the early hours of June 8 last year.

She said: “The crown say this was a sustained assault using a weapon which resulted in the victim receiving a fracture to his leg.

“The complainant was living on one floor of the YMCA and the defendant on another.

”At around 1.45am the complainant went upstairs to see a friend in one of the other rooms.

“He was met by the defendant and they started shouting at each other.

“The defendant asked ‘what are you doing?’ and the complainant answered ‘I am going to give my mate a knock’.”

Kenneth Barks attacked the man with a fire extinguisher at the YMCA

Kenneth Barks attacked the man with a fire extinguisher at the YMCA

Miss Leonard said the pair continued shouting at each other when Barks, now of Uttoxeter Road, Mickleover, suddenly punched the victim once to the face causing him to stumble back.

She said: “The complainant said ‘what are you doing?’ and the defendant turned towards the wall and pulled a fire extinguisher from it.

“He began swinging it towards him and knocked him to the ground with it.

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“He then continued to swing it at him and hit him several times while he was on the floor.

“He continued hitting him to the body even though he had curled up into a ball and then said he suddenly felt a searing pain to his right leg.”

Miss Leonard said the victim had to treated for his injuries at the Royal Derby Hospital and was put in plaster after suffering the fracture.

Barks was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sonal Ahya, mitigating, said her client was “doing well” with the help of a support worker and that he had committed no criminal offences for 27 years.

Handing him a 16-month jail term, suspended for two years, Recorder Jason Macadam said: “I accept this came about because of an allegation the complainant was making too much noise and this was not the first time.

“Very often people who are in your position try and wriggle their way out of their situation trying to transfer the blame over to the other person involved.

“To your credit you have not done that and I hope that is of some comfort to the complainant.

“This person received a significant injury but at the time you were suffering from a degree of pressure that much is evident from what I have read in your pre-sentence report.

“You were a fuse just waiting to be lit.”

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