Man jailed for battering burglar

editorial image
Have your say

A MAN who battered an intruder and then drove him to hospital has been jailed.

Vincent Wilkinson, 52, pictured, put burglar Stephen Pugh into a wheelchair and pushed him into A&E suffering from a broken back, broken leg, broken arm and broken nose, and severe bruising all over his body.

Pugh, 34, was kept in the University Hospital of North Durham for several weeks after surgery on his injuries, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Wilkinson, of Hatfield Place, Peterlee, admitted punching him several times in the face. But he pleaded guilty to causing his injuries on the basis it was a joint enterprise, said prosecutor Robert Adams.

A blood-stained pickaxe handle was found in one of Wilkinson’s vehicles, but prosecutors accepted his claim someone else had used it to beat Pugh.

A psychiatric report said Wilkinson had suffered a savage beating in March 2007 which could have triggered off an attack of paranoia and aggression when he found three intruders taking two quad bikes from his allotment in Horden on January 26.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said Wilkinson had been a hardworking and law-abiding citizen until he was attacked which left him with mental problems and on medication.

Mr Constantine said intruders had loaded the quad bikes on to a pick-up truck which they had taken from another compound.

When Wilkinson arrived on the scene two of the burglars climbed a fence to escape. A third intruder attacked him from behind, knocking him to the ground.

Wilkinson then asked someone else for help and they searched the allotment. The court was told Pugh provided a number of different accounts of what happened and told police Wilkinson and the other man were trying to find out who his accomplices were and who had sent them.

Mr Adams said: “Pugh is now serving four years for kidnap, with a co-accused who is serving six years. He has been in trouble with the law on a number of occasions.

“The defendant does not accept that he caused the injuries, but he accepts joint responsibility for them on the basis of joint enterprise.”

Judge George Moorhouse told Wilkinson he had initially considered jailing him for six years before taking the mitigating factors into consideration.

The judge added: “Another matter which I take into consideration is that you took the injured party to hospital in a wheelchair and into the A&E department. It’s quite clear that since the incident in 2007 you have been suffering from post traumatic distress disorder.”

Wilkinson was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho