A MAN’S ankle was broken when a fish tank fell on him during a hammer attack by his father-in-law.
William Wilson had stormed into Gavin Proctor’s home in Sunderland armed with the weapon shortly before midnight on April 1.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Proctor locked himself in the toilet in a bid to escape the violence and abuse being shouted by the 51-year-old.
But the victim, who is going through a divorce from Wilson’s daughter, ended up with a cast on his ankle for more than a month when it got fractured.
Prosecutor Mark Styles told the court: “The complainant sought shelter in the downstairs lavatory, and the door to the lavatory was damaged.
“The fish tank inside the premises was damaged.
“The upshot of the visit to Mr Proctor’s home, uninvited, by the defendant, was that Mr Proctor ended up with a fracture to the left ankle.
“The ankle injury was sustained when the fish tank landed on the complaint’s ankle rather than by a blow from the hammer.”
Mr Recorder Prosser sentenced Wilson, of Castlereigh Street, Sunderland, to a community order for 12 months with supervision, 200 hours’ unpaid work and £200 costs.
Wilson had pleaded guilty to affray.
The judge told him: “Items such as the fish tank got knocked over and the complainant, through no fault of his own, received a nasty injury.
“If it had been established you had caused the fracture by a direct blow with the hammer, of course you would have had to go to prison.”
Robin Patton, defending, said Wilson had just found out his wife was terminally ill when he carried out the attack and was being a “loyal dad” to his daughter.
He said there were “unusual and harrowing” domestic circumstances at the time, and that Wilson is a hard-working hod carrier who has kept out of trouble for more than 15 years.