Disabled man was hit with his own walking stick

Published date: 21 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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AN attacker hit his victim – a disabled man – with his own walking stick.

Vernon Cooke, 50, told how he fell over during the attack and his prosthetic leg came off.

While he was on the ground and was unable to get his leg back on, he was kicked to the neck or shoulder and was knocked unconscious, he told a court yesterday.

Geraint Bowen, of Queensway, Wrexham, admitted assault on the basis of three blows with the walking stick and a kick, but he claimed he had been provoked and he had been hit first with the stick.

He agreed that at the time he had drunk alcohol and taken drugs but said he initially acted in self defence.

In evidence at Mold Crown Court, he said he was hit with the stick first and received an injury to his elbow. He then hit him back with the stick.

He accepted that by this stage he had lost his temper.

Judge Niclas Parry remanded Bowen, 30, in custody pending sentence next month.

The judge said he had listened to evidence from two people – one who had been distressed at the time and the other who had been drunk.

He was prepared to accept for sentencing purposes that Bowen had been hit on the arm during the incident in view of the nasty cut he received, but he rejected the claim of self-defence.

The attack happened outside the complainant’s own home.

There was a gate and a garden wall between them and Bowen had ample opportunity to leave but did not do so. He became agitated and delivered blows with the stick and then lost his temper and kicked Mr Cooke while he was on the ground.

“At the end of the day this was a sustained attack on a vulnerable man with a weapon outside his own home.”

Mercifully the injuries were not as serious as they could have been.

The return to the scene to kick the victim was “gratuitous and unnecessary violence” and it was aggravated by the fact he was on a suspended prison sentence at the time of the attack.

Judge Parry adjourned sentence for a pre-sentence report and input from the community mental health team.

Michael Whitty, prosecuting, said Bowen was drunk and had taken drugs when he wanted to go to the complainant’s house but was told to leave.

It was the prosecution case the complainant banged his stick on the gate and pointed the way home with his stick. But Mr Cooke was hit with the stick and then kicked and had to stay overnight in hospital.

At the time there was an emergency at the complainant’s house and an ambulance had attended so paramedics could attend to Mr Cooke’s daughter.

Bowen was the brother of the daughter’s partner and wanted to go in to see what was happening.

Oliver King, defending, said it was his client’s case he had initially been provoked and acted in self-defence before then losing his temper.

Mr Cooke denied he had ever hit Bowen with his stick.

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