A man attacked his love rival with a ladder spindle after he showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house uninvited.
A friend had told Lee Paul Watts, 50, that Lee Collier was at the woman’s home, even though he was prohibited from going there by DVPO (Domestic Violence Protection Order).
When Watts, from Worsley, arrived, the pair began to quarrel, with Mr Collier kicking a shaft from the stairs, Manchester Crown Court heard.
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The fight moved outside, at which point Watts snatched the shaft from him and hit him ‘five to ten’ times.
Collier was left with six marks on his back, including ones measuring 15 centimeters, as well as two lacerations to his head and face.
The court was told that he and Watts’ former partner have not helped with the prosecution.
Watts pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed today (January 28) for over three years.
David James, the prosecutor, told the court that the woman and Mr. Collier had previously been in a relationship, but that he was not allowed to attend her home under the terms of a DVPO due to prior incidents of domestic violence.
“On May 14, 2020, at around 11 a.m., the defendant shows up at his ex-partner’s home, demands that the door be opened for him, is ignored, and then walks through the front door,” he said.
“The incident occurred in front of a neighbor, who was present with her son.
In his plea statement he said: “Collier went to kick me through the stair spindles.
“It caused it to break and we both got out and I accept that I attacked Collier with the weapon used as an axis.
“During the assault, I accept that I took the spindle from him and hit him with it.”
The prosecutor said Watts hit Collier with the spindle “between five and 10 times.”
He was taken to the hospital for medical attention and the woman was told not to speak to the police and refused to provide her medical history.
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Watts was arrested and his phone was seized, but he initially refused to provide the PIN number.
However, officers were able to access the phone and arrested him again, at which point he provided a prepared statement denying any responsibility for the assault, instead blaming an “unknown local enemy.”
Upon analysis of the phone, it became clear that there was “animosity” between the two, with Watts saying, “I want to kill him,” and claiming to his ex that Mr. Collier was the reason they had split.
Collier did not provide a victim impact statement, nor did he assist police or prosecutors with their investigations, James added.
Watts was said to have a number of prior convictions, including for robbery offenses and drug offences.
In mitigating circumstances, his attorney Paul Hodgkinson said his client did not bring the gun to the scene and instead the victim had broken the shaft by kicking it, picked it up and Watts took it from him.
“The complainant in this case has frequently hit the defendant’s ex-partner, and this time a friend texted this defendant to say he was there again,” Hodgkinson said.
“The victim in this case has since been sent to prison, and the reason for going to prison is because he had come back to haunt the house and trashed it from the inside out.
“It is a brave plea.
“Initially it was a fight, the defendant took it too far.”
Pronouncing sentencing, registrar Michael Blakey said: “Perhaps this was not a revenge attack, but it seems to me that you knew trouble would occur, as evidenced by the text messages.
“I don’t know the extent of his injuries, nor do I know the impact on him.
“But this violence was unnecessary.
“It was your choice to go there, you have to face the consequences.”
Watts, of Old Wells Close, was jailed for 37 months.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.