A row over a wardrobe ended in a confrontation in which one man broke another’s arm.
Leeds Crown Court heard today that Christopher Cooper had been a friend of the 68-year-old victim for some time before they argued about the wardrobe.
On July 16 last year the victim turned up outside Cooper’s home in Dewsbury with the piece of furniture involved and proceeded to smash it up outside the property, leaving the pieces behind when he left.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said the pensioner then returned home where he was watching television when Cooper let himself into the flat.
He then confronted the victim saying: “I’m sick of you I want you out of my life” and began punching him about the head.
Mr Shaw said the pensioner was moving around trying to get away from Cooper and ended up on the floor in the bedroom. He said he did not fight back because the defendant was bigger but put his arm up trying to defend himself.
After Cooper left the victim got help from a neighbour. He was taken to hospital where he was found to have a fracture to his right forearm and bruising to his knee and collar bone. His dentures and hearing aid were also broken.
His arm was put in a plaster cast and he spent seven days in hospital for observation. When Cooper was seen initially he claimed he had only pushed the other man in self-defence and the injuries were accidental.
Anastasis Tassou, representing him, said: “His aim was to go to the complainant’s property simply to ask him to keep away but when there his temper got the better of him and he fully accepts he assaulted the victim as he describes.”
He said there was more background that just the issue about the wardrobe which had begun when Cooper agreed to help move a fridge freezer for the complainant and then could not do it because of back problems.
He had rubbish left outside his home and vehicles scratched in a campaign of harassment which had included childish incidents such as babies dummies being left on his vehicle to signify he was acting as a child but what happened over the wardrobe was the last straw.
Mr Tassou added: “He wants to have nothing more to do with him.”
Cooper, 34 of Brewerton Lane, Dewsbury admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 20 months.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he knew his victim was vulnerable because he would call to check on him and was prepared to accept he had been behaving childishly towards Cooper in previous weeks with the wardrobe the catalyst for what happened.
The judge added: “I accept you were stressed by the situation between you and him but you knew he was vulnerable and chose to attack him in his own home. This was a vicious and sustained attack.”
“An assault on a man in his own home is a matter which courts must always take seriously and is a significantly aggravating feature.”