A RESPECTED Netherton businessman and his son have been jailed after they took part in a vicious gang attack on two men they suspected had broken into their Brierley Hill firm.
Walter Smith and his 23-year-old son Wayne were armed with a wooden club and an iron bar when they decided to "take the law into their own hands".
Recorder Stuart Sprawson at Wolverhampton Crown Court told 57-year-old Smith that "without clear evidence" he had come to the conclusion that Mark Roberts and his employee Peter Dunn were behind the raid.
This was despite having been on good terms with Mr Roberts, whose own business was close to the premises used by Smith on the industrial estate in Brettell Lane.
The Recorder said: "Rather than consult the police you took the law into your own hands."
He said Smith had the wooden club while his son carried a metal bar and they went along with a number of other men to Roberts Automotive and gained access to the premises where they seriously assaulted Mr Roberts and Mr Dunn and demanded money.
Nazneen Sultan, prosecuting, said both victims suffered serious bruising and swelling and also had to have stitches for their wounds.
Walter Smith and Wayne Smith, both of Bank Road, Netherton, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The father was jailed for 16 months and his son for 14 months.
The Recorder said: "Anybody who takes the law into their own hands and are part of an armed group who use weapons then they must know they will go to prison."
"There was a significant degree of premeditation in the form of planning and weapons were taken to the scene.
He told Walter Smith: "You set up your own business and you were well respected in the field in which you work and what you did has brought shame on your family."
Nicholas Tatlow, defending Walter Smith, said he had no previous convictions involving violence and he had acted completely out of character.
He said Mr Roberts had described Walter Smith as "very laid back and someone who is not aggressive" and stressed the father bore significant responsibility for involving his son in the attack.
Raquel Simpson, for Wayne Smith, said he was full of remorse for his actions and maintained he had played a more subordinate role in the events.