Fireman sees red in attack
PUBLISHED: 07:20 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 31 May 2010
AN ESSEX fireman has been given a suspended prison sentence after he assaulted a man with a knuckleduster. Recorder John Brooke-Smith told Bradley Strowman the use of a knuckleduster merited a prison term, but he was able to suspend it because the incide
AN ESSEX fireman has been given a suspended prison sentence after he assaulted a man with a knuckleduster.
Recorder John Brooke-Smith told Bradley Strowman the use of a knuckleduster merited a prison term, but he was able to suspend
it because the incident was
"wholly uncharacteristic and isolated" and he had shown deep and genuine remorse.
He also took into account Strowman's work in the community as a firefighter and the fact that he would lose his job if he was sent immediately to prison.
Strowman, 31, of Lower Street, Stansted, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Darren Nicklen and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work and pay £500 compensation to Mr Nicklen.
Rex Bryan, prosecuting at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, said on February 18 this year Strowman went to a flat at Castle Walk, Stansted.
The defendant was the landlord and the complainant, Darren Nicklen was due to be evicted from the premises that day.
Mr Nicklen was not the tenant but the ex-boyfriend of the tenant who had left.
As Strowman was approaching the premises Mr Nicklen was speaking to a neighbour telling him he was leaving the address because of his "f...... landlord".
Mr Bryan said Strowman went up to Mr Nicklen and punched him on the top of his head using a knuckleduster. Mr Nicklen was knocked back into the premises and recalled receiving further blows while inside and on the floor.
He was shocked and shaken by the assault and sustained three cuts to his head, which needed 10 stitches. The court head that a neighbour intervened and stopped the assault.
Strowman was later arrested by police who recovered a knuckleduster from nearby.
Strowman admitted the assault and said for a variety of reasons things had got on top of him. He said he "lost it" and added: "I've never hurt anyone in my life. I just saw red."
Defence counsel Graham Brown said Strowman acted completely out of character and was suffering from clinical depression at the time, which contributed to his loss of control.
Strowman took the knuckleduster with his as a weapon of defence in case there was trouble because there had been heated arguments in the past. He was also concerned that Mr Nicklen might be there with somebody else.
"He misread the signs. He knows he got it wrong and got it badly wrong," said Mr Brown.
Testimonials showed that Strowman was a credit to the
Essex Fire Service and had been given two commendations during his service to the community.
His colleagues, family and friends were in court to support Strowman.