Cirencester man Christopher Lewis spared jail for assault on Angus Mead at Tesco Metro store
8:53am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A CIRENCESTER man who beat up an older friend he claimed had 'betrayed' him and then intimidated him to try and get assault charges dropped was told he was lucky to avoid a prison sentence this week.
Christopher Lewis, 23, was told by a judge at Gloucester crown court that if he had been sentenced soon after the offences he would have gone to straight prison.
But he had since made efforts to turn his life around, said Judge William Hart, who suspended sentence on Lewis, of Crabtree Lane, Cirencester.
Lewis had earlier admitted assault causing actual bodily harm to 53-year-old Angus Mead on September 14 last year and a charge of intimidation of Mr Mead the following month.
Chris Smyth, prosecuting, said Lewis had met Mr Mead at the Tesco Metro store in Cirencester. Lewis was upset over a personal problem and Mr Mead had rung his mother.
This upset Lewis who later burst into Mr Mead’s house, claiming he had betrayed him. He punched and kicked Mr Mead, causing a nasty eye injury, cuts and bruises to his face.
At the beginning of October, Lewis verbally abused Mr Mead and demanded he got the police to drop the assault charge.
On two later occasions, Lewis went to Mr Mead’s house with a group of other men, shouting at him and banging on his door and windows. During one such incident, on October 30, Mr Mead asked neighbours to call the police.
Mr Smyth said that when interviewed by the police, Lewis denied witness intimidation.
Joe Maloney, defending, said Mr Mead’s phone call to his mother had left Lewis, who had alcohol problems, homeless.
But since then, he had made huge strides forward, gaining employment in January and having stability in his home life, Mr Maloney said.
Judge Hart told Lewis he should be "thoroughly ashamed" of what he had done to an older man, who was unable to defend himself in his own home.
But he said because of the efforts the defendant had taken to control his drinking and keep out of trouble, and a reference from his employer, he was sparing him jail.
"Your life has changed quite dramatically for the better over the last 11 months," the judge said.
"You know that I should send you to prison today and I would have done if you had been sentenced soon after the offence. But I’m going to take into account the changes you have made in your life."
Lewis was sentenced to 12 months in prison for the assault and nine months for the witness intimidation, to run concurrently and suspended for two years.
He was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, undergo supervision for 12 months and pay Mr Mead £800 compensation.