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Pensnett man jailed for sledgehammer attack on pensioner
8:00am Monday 8th October 2012 in Local
A PENSNETT man who attacked a pensioner with a sledgehammer before punching and kicking him has been jailed for 30 months.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard 35-year-old James Stanley attacked his neighbour, David Fletcher, aged 69, as he sat in his home watching TV.
The court heard Stanley smashed Mr Fletcher's windows with the sledgehammer and he then used the weapon to shatter the windscreen of his parked car.
Judge Nicholas Webb said it was a "sustained and repeated" attack on a vulnerable man who had clearly been frightened and added: "This is a strange and disturbing case."
Neighbours of Mr Fletcher had managed to restrain Stanley and if it had not been for their bravery, said the judge: "I do not know what the result might have been."
He told Stanley it was difficult to imagine the psychological damage suffered by Mr Fletcher who fortunately had escaped with only minor injuries.
The judge went on: "I am afraid this case is deeply worrying because there is no real explanation for you to behave in the way you did."
Rhiannon Jones, prosecuting, said when Mr Fletcher ran out of the house to demand "What are you doing?" he was struck with the sledgehammer in the back and knocked to the ground.
Stanley then punched and kicked him as he lay on the floor and the attack only ended when one of the neighbours managed to take the sledgehammer out of his grasp.
The pensioner suffered some "pain and discomfort," said Miss Jones but he did not have to go to hospital for treatment to his bruising and grazing.
Stanley, who told Mr Fletcher after his arrest "I'll be back for you", maintained to police he had little recollection of the incident because he had taken medication and he had been drinking.
Sharonjit Bahia, for Stanley, said her client was full of remorse for his actions and he was deeply ashamed of the way he had behaved to his neighbour.
Stanley of The Stray, Pensnett, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon - the sledgehammer.