Brothers beat up man over £20 debt

Lee and Michael Butler.
Lee and Michael Butler.
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TWO brothers launched a brutal attack on a man over a £20 debt.

Magistrates heard how Michael Butler owed the man the money for 10 weeks.

But when the victim went to 31-year-old Butler’s house to collect the cash he wasn’t in.

Later, Butler and his brother Lee, 25, went to the victim’s house and confronted him about the debt.

The younger brother, from Renfrew Road, Red House, Sunderland, punched and kicked the man and while he was on the floor, Michael Butler joined in the attack.

Both men pleaded guilty to a joint charge of common assault.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “About 10 weeks before the attack, the victim loaned £20 to Michael Butler.

“When he was due it back, he went to an address in Ocean Road, where he thought he lived. Butler wasn’t there and he went back home.

“Later, Butler showed up with his brother.

“Without any warning, Lee Butler started punching him with both fists in the face and chest.

“He curled up in a ball and continued to be punched and kicked.”

The court heard that Michael Butler, of Newmarket Walk, South Shields, told his brother to stop before starting to punch him himself.

The man was left with black eyes, swollen face and lips and cuts and scratches on his face and body.

Mr Laidlaw said the victim wants the court to impose a restraining order banning the Butlers from contacting him.

Charlton James Carr, defending Lee Butler, said: “Both men are remorseful. They were upset and embarrassed by the victim discussing their financial arrangements with someone else.

“They went round, but didn’t intend to assault him. However, it went pear-shaped because they were all in drink.”

Mark Richardson, defending Michael Butler said: “He has been friends with the injured party for some years now. He says his life is somewhat chaotic and he often helps him out by cleaning his house for him.

“He tells me it was not £20 that he owed to the man, but 16 cans of lager.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until Friday for the probation service to prepare pre-sentence reports about them.

They were granted bail until then on the conditions that they live at the addresses given to court and do not contact prosecution witnesses.

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