Man attacked love rival with baseball bat

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A MAN attacked his love rival with a baseball bat after forcing his way into his home.

Peter Bell armed himself before taking a taxi round to his victim’s home.

Newcastle Crown Court was told he forced his way into the property, in Eden Villas, Colombia, Washington, and launched the assault.

“He forced his way into the passageway and struck his victim 10 to 20 times as he tried to fend him off,” said prosecutor Glenda Turnbull.

The court was told that shortly before the attack in the early hours of November 21 last year, Bell had learned that his “on/off” girlfriend had turned up at the victim’s home after a night out with pals.

Ms Turnbull said there had been a history of rivalry between the two men after the girl had an affair with the victim in the earlier years of her four-year relationship with Bell, before going back to him.

Bell, 29, also attacked his love rival’s car and front door.

Barry Robson, defending, said: “This was a crime of passion.”

He told the court Bell had taken his girlfriend shopping on the day of the attack.

He continued: “He paid for her hair to be done and paid for new clothes for her night out. He stayed in the house while she went out and she never returned.

“After having some cans of lager at home on his own he went to bed.

“It wasn’t until a friend who she had been out with returned that he found out what had happened - she had gone to the house of someone she had previously had an affair with.

He said Bell armed himself with the bat - which belonged to his girlfriend - because his rival was bigger than him.

He admitted unlawful wounding, possession of an offensive weapon and three counts of criminal damage.

The injured man was taken to hospital for a cut to his head, which needed gluing together.

In his victim impact statement he said: “As a result of the attack I do not feel safe in my own home.

“The slightest noise from outside makes me fear for my safety.”

Mr Recorder Eric Elliott handed Bell, of Kirkham, Washington, a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a 12-month supervision order for wounding.

He was given three months prison for being in possession of an offensive weapon, and one month for each of the criminal damage charges to run concurrent, all suspended for 12 months.

Bell must also pay his victim £820 in compensation for damage to his property, and £455 to his girlfriend after he smashed up her wardrobe.