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Plumber left with broken jaw, fractured ribs and lung damage after attack by customer over £50 refund

A plumber suffered a broken jaw, fractured ribs and lung damage during an attack by a customer over a £50 bill refund.

By Karon Kelly
Monday, 13th June 2022, 1:47 pm

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Mahlon Crosdale and his partner had paid £1,000 for a plumbing job and handed over £50 for rubbish removal, which he ended up doing himself.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the £50 was not quickly refunded, Crosdale sent a series of texts, warning "I can't spend excuses pal, I have run out of patience with you. I should have just smashed your teeth out last time."

Then, during a terrifying confrontation outside the plumber's local pub, Crosdale launched a savage attack involving punches, kicks and stamps.

Mahlon Crosdale.

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Crosdale, 48, of Mickleton Gardens, Sunderland, denied he was the attacker but was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm after a trial.

Judge Amanda Rippon told him: "The complainant did some plumbing work for you in January 2019 and he was paid £1,000 for that job.

"There was also £50 for the removal of rubbish but you ended up removing the rubbish."

Judge Rippon said Crosdale's messages became "increasingly bad tempered", with the plumber trying to explain he had suffered a bereavement, had not been working as much but would pay the £50 as soon as he could.

The judge said the violent attack took place on May 11 2019 and told Crosdale: "You punched him to his face, probably breaking his jaw at that point, or it could have happened when he fell down on the ground.

"You then stamped and kicked his body as he lay on the ground, his head, his chest, his groin.

"He did manage to get up and managed to get away from you and he went to hospital."

The court heard the plumber suffered a fractured jaw that needed plates and screws fitted, had fractured ribs, bruising and bleeding on his lung and significant bruising to his body.

Judge Rippon told Crosdale: "You don't accept you assaulted him, suggesting someone else did it.

"You did this and you know you did, pretending that you didn't isn't going to help."

Crosdale was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and 100 hours unpaid work.

Judge Rippon told him: "I am giving you a chance to keep your home and your job and be the productive member of society you have proved you can be."

Jane Foley, defending, said Crosdale, who handed character references to the court, has been in no trouble since the offence, which was three years ago and his previous convictions are from more than 15 years ago.

Miss Foley said a prison sentence would mean Crosdale could lose his job and possibly his home.