Attacker ‘saw red’ over broom

A SIDBURY man “saw red” and repeatedly punched an innocent workman he’d accused of stealing his broom, a court heard.

Bruce Morgan, 52, of Furzehill, admitted the assault, which took place in Sidmouth on March 14, when he appeared before magistrates sitting in Exeter last Thursday.

His victim needed hospital treatment for a burst blood vessel in his eye, bruising and a chipped tooth.

Morgan was given a conditional discharge of 18 months and was ordered to pay �500 compensation.

The court heard how the attack happened when Morgan spotted a van belonging to the victim’s company – building contractors who had previously worked at his home and who he associated with the loss of his broom on an earlier occasion.

Prosecutor Alison Jordan told how Morgan burst into the property where his victm was working, accused him of “nicking” his brush, punched him several times, and went to search his van for the elusive broom.

The item has not been found.

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Mrs Jordan added: “The assault happened while the victim was at work renovating an empty property. He was sitting in the lounge when the defendant entered.

“He shouted ‘You lot have nicked my brush’ and punched him three or four times in the head. He then left to check a van for the brush.”

She added that the victim felt he had been attacked for no reason, about a broom he knew nothing about, and had been left in fear of working in council properties.

Mitigating, Julia Brassington said Morgan associated the builders with a number of alleged complaints about items going missing, so that when he spotted their van he “saw red”.

“He saw the person he believed was the culprit and he punched him,” she said.

She added that Morgan had overcome an alcohol problem.

Passing sentence, magistrates told Morgan: “The injuries you caused were not very pleasant and, in hindsight, the whole incident could have been handled much better.”