Jail for man who assaulted painter-decorator

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A painter and decorator was badly beaten up after remonstrating with youths who threw stones at him while he was on a ladder, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Wednesday).

The victim was working on a New Linx Housing property, in Skegness, when he heard a loud bang and looked down to see the three teenagers throwing stones at him.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that the painter climbed down from his ladder and spoke to the lads before returning to his job.

But the teenagers went back to the scene and were then joined by neighbouring resident Eric Longstaffe who became aggressive towards the workman and swore at him.

Mr Scott said Longstaffe appeared to be blinded by rage and during an incident that followed the victim was punched and knocked to the ground.

The man was then held down and repeatedly kicked and punched as he tried to protect himself. The attack only ended one of the workman’s colleagues, who was working on another house, came to his rescue.

Mr Scott said that Longstaffe was responsible for holding the man on the ground while the teenagers kicked and punched him.

The victim suffered a number of injuries and was detained in hospital overnight for observation.

Both the painter and his colleague were left traumatised by the incident and neither was able to continue working on the contract.

Longstaffe, 50, of Sandbeck Avenue, Skegness, admitted charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threatening behaviour arising out of the incident on July 8, 2013. He was jailed for 23 months.

The court was told that three youths involved in the incident have previously been dealt with by the Juvenile Court.

Saleem Khan, defending, said Longstaffe mistakenly believed that the painter had attacked one of the boys and ‘lost the plot’.

Mr Khan said Longstaffe remained badly affected by the death of a son some years ago and he urged that his client should receive a suspended jail sentence.

He said Longstaffe was a heroin addict who is receiving treatment for depression.

Mr Khan told the court: “Immediate custody would have a detrimental effect on his mental health and would put a stop to any counselling he might be getting.”