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Man jailed for churchyard attack on pharmacist

Malvern Editorial 21st Jan, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A MAN who committed a ‘terrifying’ attack in a churchyard leaving his victim injured and badly shaken up has been jailed.

Daniel Lee, 33 and from Worcester Road in Malvern, was sentenced to two and half years at Worcester Crown Court on Friday (January 16).

In the days leading up to the brutal attack in June last year Lee had confronted the victim, a pharmacist, over an alleged dispute with his girlfriend. The argument had seemingly been resolved but on June 16 Lee followed the man home through the grounds of Holy Trinity Church and ordered him to ‘Give me your f***ing wallet’, the court heard.

Wearing a hooded top and gloves he pushed the man over causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground before tumbling a further 10ft down a grass slope.

Lee pursued and held him down with his knee on his chest and warned he would ‘f***ing kill him’ if he told the police before punching him in the ribs.

He stopped briefly as a car went past only to punch the man again before running off as a woman approached the scene.

John Evans, prosecuting, said the victim went over to her clutching his ribs and was ‘badly shaken up’.

The next day Lee told police he had been in a dispute with the man but he denied committing the attack and claimed he was with his girlfriend at the time.

But officers later searched his mobile phone and discovered he was actually trying to call her close to the time of the incident.

Lee subsequently admitted the charges on the day of the trial and said he had ‘lost his temper’.

Judge Robert Juckes QC told the court the victim had entered a passionate statement which acted as a reminder of the consequences of unprovoked physical violence.

Upon sentencing he said: “What is particularly unfortunate and serious about this, is that the origin of your violence towards the victim was some kind of falling out between him and your girlfriend.

“Yet a whole week went by and in that time she had been back [to the pharmacy] and dealt with by someone else. In spite of that when you come across the victim you attacked him which left him terrified.”

Judge Juckes added: “This was a persistent attack by you which as a consequence quite clearly has had a serious long-term effect on the victim.”

Edward Trotman, defending, said Lee had been addicted to heroin since the age of 15 and done well not to resort to criminal activity until now.

He added the defendant only attempted to steal the wallet and quickly changed his mind.

Lee will serve a minimum of 15 months and be placed on licence for the remainder of the sentence, meaning he will automatically return to prison if he offends again during that time. He was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.

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