Sunderland building firm boss attacked worker with plank of wood after he turned up at his home to ask about his wages

Gary Young
Gary Young

A businessman has been put behind bars after he attacked a worker who turned up at his home to ask about wages.

Building firm boss Gary Young left the man with a head wound and fractured his arm when he lashed out with a plank of wood during the confrontation about cash.

At Newcastle Crown Court the 54-year-old married dad has been put behind bars for 18 months and now faces bankruptcy.

A judge said the worker, and his colleagues, offered no threat when they turned up at the house and she told Young: "It is clear from the evidence, you were the aggressive one, you were the one who behaved like a thug and you were the one looking for trouble.

"You reacted, I am satisfied, in a violent way to a perfectly reasonable request from the men, who wanted paying from you."

Young, of Havelock court, Sunderland, had denied causing grievous bodily harm and having an offensive weapon but was found guilty by a jury after a trial.

The court heard the man had gone to Young's home, with others, in February last year, "looking for answers" about money they expected from contract work but had not yet received.

Young told his victim "you will get your ****ing money" and warned "you are a dead man" before he armed himself with a plank of wood from the house and hit the man twice.

Miss recorder Sophie Drake rejected Young's claim his violence was "excessive self defence".

The judge told him: "When they had not received money for the work done, they went to your house to see what was happening with the money.

"Having heard the evidence in the case, I am satisfied that they did not go looking for trouble at your house, they simply went, as they said in their evidence, looking for answers.

"They had to come to your house looking for what was rightly theirs."

The judge said the victim was "offering no threat at all" when he was attacked.

She told Young: "He was on him phone when you approached him, so he was offering you no threat at all.

"He was looking at his phone and you hit him on the head, causing a cut or wound to his head.

"It didn't stop there, because you then hit him again and he went to defend himself this time and put his arm up and caused a fracture to his left forearm."

The court heard after the attack, Young used the weapon to cause £1,000 damage to the car the workers had arrived at the house in.

He admitted causing criminal damage in relation to the vehicle.

Shaun Routledge, defending, said Young is now "heading towards bankruptcy" after the loss of the large contract, which was based in Sheffield.

Mr Routledge said Young "did not hold the purse strings" in relation to the money wanted by the workers.

He added: "He had never had people at his door like that before.

"To use his own words, he jumped the gun.

"He would, in fact, approach the situation in a different fashion if it was ever to arise again."

Mr Routledge said Young poses a low risk to the public.