Dad attacked his daughter’s ex with a hammer

Barry Leigh outside court

Dream homes fraudster Barry Leigh jailed for six years after laundering £620,000

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A DESPERATE dad who attacked his daughter’s ex-partner with a hammer in a sickening assault has been spared jail.

Darren Phillips, 47, acted after receiving a call from his 22-year-old daughter who said she had been assaulted by former boyfriend Kevin Griffin.

They agreed to meet with her seven-month-old son at her mum’s home in Queen Street, Portsea.

But while en route Phillips spotted Mr Griffin in the street, swerved in his vehicle and knocked him to the ground.

Mr Griffin, 25, from Southsea, got up unharmed but then Phillips got out of the car armed with a hammer and rained several blows on him.

The victim got hold of the hammer and a struggle ensued between the two men, but then Phillips headbutted Mr Griffin several times.

He managed to get away and Phillips chased him for a short while, still brandishing the hammer.

Phillips then walked back to his vehicle, moved it and gave the hammer to his daughter before returning to the scene and stating the someone should call the police. He was arrested a little later on September 3.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘He said that he had come down in blind panic because he was frightened for his daughter and grandson.’

Matthew Butt, defending, described Phillips as a hard-working, committed family man who felt physically sick when shown CCTV of the attack.

Mr Butt said: ‘In any view, from the description, what took place is totally unacceptable and Mr Phillips is in absolutely no doubt about that at all.’

Phillips, of Colebrook Avenue, Copnor, Portsmouth, admitted one count of dangerous driving, one of battery and a third charge of possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Sarah Munro QC, sentencing, described Phillips’ behaviour as ‘sickening and totally unacceptable.’

But she added: ‘These offences were undoubtedly committed through fear for your daughter and grandson.

‘I’m quite sure that this is the first and last time that you will be before a criminal court.’

Phillips, who has no previous convictions, was given a 51-week suspended sentence and told to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for a year and will have to pass another driving test before being allowed back behind the wheel.

No charges have been brought against Kevin Griffin in relation to the alleged domestic assault.