Northampton man given suspended sentence after fracturing a man's eye socket over a parking dispute

The offender was shown leniency for being a 'good role model' to his son and family

By Max Pearson
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 8:03 am

A Northampton man has been given a suspended sentence after assaulting a neighbour over a parking dispute and then trying to intimidate him back in 2020.

Wayne Adams, of Hermitage Way, Wootton committed the crimes after being confronted on May 31, 2020 by a neighbour at his home over parking his van in their parking space.

The neighbour then began using 'improper language' towards 43-year-old Adams, which led to the confrontation turning violent.

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Adams was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court.

Gary Short, prosecuting, said: "At around 11:15am, the complainant went to Adams and challenged him for parking his van in his parking spot. Mr Adams defended this by saying that a friend had said he could use it. The friend was his neighbour and had a space next to the complainant's.

"There was some improper language used by the complainant. Adams' partner then suggested that the incident was being recorded.

"There was a punch to the complainant, initially to the right side of the face. Then the defendant's partner got involved and struck the complainant several times to the face. He then, in defence of himself, struck Adams' partner in the face.

"The defendant then advanced on the complainant and delivered a series of blows with his fists which knocked the complainant to the floor, where he hurt his wrist.

"The complainant then realised he was bleeding from the eye and went home. He was later taken to hospital by an ambulance."

After being seen at the hospital, the complainant was found to have swelling to the cheek and eyeline, a fractured eye socket and cheek bone and a fractured bone in his left hand, which he had fallen on during the beating.

Not long after the assault, at 8:30 on May 31, the complainant heard sounds of smashing glass outside his home during the night.

After looking outside the complainant spotted Adams and his partner standing beside the complainant's partner's Nissan car, which had been smashed with a baseball bat that Adams was seen holding.

They had also damaged the complainant's front door.

Altogether, the damages cost the complainant £300, although the car, which had to be written off on insurance, was valued at almost £7,000.

The two were seen fleeing the scene by a witness who noted Adams as saying: "He hit my missus. That's out of order." This, the prosecution said, was clearly directed at the complainant. This would later escalate to a face-to-face attempt at intimidation.

Mr Short added: "On July 2, the complainant was on his way to collect his son from school, when he saw the defendant approaching him on a scooter. He drove past and began remarking and gesturing at him.

"He said things like 'You, me, now, let's go', 'If I go down you need to know I have people who will go after you and your family', and 'Why did you tell the police that my missus hit you?' before riding off.

"The complainant was left shocked by this."

In sentencing, Recorder Green, presiding, said that what Adams had done was 'a serious offence' and would have been worthy of an immediate custodial sentence and admonished him for trying to use the impact on his nine-year-old son as a way to mitigate his sentence.

However, his lack of offending in the 18 months since the incidents, as well as letters from Adams' ex-partner, sister and boss led him to show leniency.

Mr Green said: "This offending was absolutely disgraceful.

"You threatened another man's family, but want me to show leniency for the impact on yours.

"But it is the very well written and convincing letter written by your ex-partner, showing what a good role model you are for your son, and the support you give her, with her own health, in looking after your son, that shows to imprison you would impact on not just your son, but also your ex-partner who would struggle to care for him."

Based on this, and other letters from his sister and a work colleague, Adams' sentence was suspended.

He was given 15 months suspended for 18 months, 80 hours of unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation activity requirements and compensation to the complainant of £2,000.