A ski-goggle wearing 21-year-old who hit a man twice with a metal bar in Helston is trying to turn his life around, a court has heard.
Daniel Stamp, of Meneage Street, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of a weapon after hitting Robert Oates with a weightlifting bar on November 30 last year.
However he walked freely from Truro Crown Court after a glowing character reference from a community chaplain and an emotional statement from a close friend and neighbour meant Judge Christopher Harvey Clark handed him an eight month sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a six month supervision order.
The judge said that it was with “a great deal of reluctance” that he gave him “one more chance.”
Elaine Hobson, prosecuting, told the court that on the night in question the victim had been drinking in Shooters Bar in Helston with a friend when a violent altercation had broken out. The pair had left, but on the way home Mr Oates had turned back alone, realising he had left his jacket behind.
She said Mr Oates had been walking along Godolphin Road, and passed two men, before he “heard footsteps, and was assaulted on the back of the head with something heavy.”
He then stumbled forward and turned to see Stamp, wearing ski goggles and “loping forward” with the bar from a dumb-bell set, before being struck for a second time.
He was able to run away, and nearby police officers who saw Stamp with the weapon arrived and arrested him.
Mr Oates had to have two wounds to his head glued back together.
The court heard a pre-sentence report which described Stamp as “dismissive of all agencies” and “angry with the police, the probation service, and no doubt the court.”But Terry Eastwood for the defence said Stamp was not always angry, there were times when he was “useful to society,” and that he had been in a road accident which had changed his behaviour.
He talked to Nigel Paine, community chaplain with the Peninsula Initiative, which attempts to rehabilitate prisoners upon release, who had met Stamp in 2012 when he was in a young offenders’ facility.
Mr Paine said he was “trying to change his life, and move away from his offending lifestyle.”
He said Stamp, a regular cannabis user, had been working with support group Addaction to get clean of drugs, and he was seeking help from the Community Mental health team.
Jodie Elizabeth Brown, a friend and neighbour of Stamp, said he had changed as a result of a car accident he had been in. She said: “He doesn’t know how to cope with life.”
In an emotional appeal to the judge, she said: “If you send him to prison he won’t change, he’ll come out the person he was when he came out last time.
“He’s angry because he’s never had anyone to care for him.”
She added that he now had the support of herself and of other friends, and that she was trying to ensure that he took medication which he was prescribed.
Sentencing Stamp, the judge said: “With a great deal of reluctance, I’m prepared to give you one more chance.
As well as the eight month suspended sentence for the attack, he ordered Stamp be supervised by the Cornwall Turnaround Team for six months, and pay a £100 victim surcharge within the next year.