Former Portsmouth council worker walks free after attacking boss with baseball bat

Karl Williams arriving at Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to a baseball bat attack
Karl Williams arriving at Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to a baseball bat attack

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A FORMER council worker walked free from court after beating his boss with a baseball bat.

Karl Williams, 43, who used to work for Portsmouth City Council’s parking department, avoided jail as a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court gave him a suspended sentence.

The court was told that in ‘moment of madness’ Williams repeatedly bludgeoned his supervisor, Anthony Doe, who was sitting at his office desk and was left with bruising and memory loss.

A statement read out in court from Mr Doe, a technical supervisor, said he feared he would be ‘beaten to death’.

The court heard the attack happened on March 24 at the office at the Isambard Brunel multistorey car park in Portsmouth.

Williams, a parking technician, was returning to work after being off sick, and Mr Doe told him to check his emails because a meeting had been set up that morning to discuss his position.

Prosecutor Christopher Stopa said: ‘He became angry and aggressive and left work saying he was going to go off sick.’

The court heard Williams then tried to call Mr Doe and subsequently went to his office door to speak to him.

When the door was shut in his face, Williams went to the boot of his car and got the baseball bat.

In the words of Mr Doe, Mr Stopa said: ‘I was sat back at my desk when Karl hit me over the head with a baseball bat.

‘I went a bit blank after that and fell on the side of the desk. He then continued to hit me.’

Williams then drove through the car park barrier and damaged it.

Mr Doe went to Queen Alexandra Hospital for treatment to soft tissue damage, bruising and swelling.

He struggled to walk after the attack, such was the bruising to his ankle.

His statement to the court said: ‘I can’t begin to describe the feeling of terror when I was attacked.

‘Had I not escaped I believe he would have beaten me to death.

‘I was shouting for help. I have been left feeling shocked. The speed at which his behaviour changed was very frightening.’

He added: ‘The blow to my head has caused me some memory loss.

‘I have panic attacks in public and I’m scared of going out alone.’

Defence barrister Daniel Reilly said Williams was ‘ashamed’ of his actions.

He said his initial intention was to knock the computer off the desk. ‘He went to the door, not with the baseball bat,’ he said.

‘The door was closed in his face. That’s the moment where we have the moment of madness.’

The court heard Williams had a clean record and was known by friends for being ‘kind’ and ‘helping others’.

He admitted at the earliest opportunity that he attacked Mr Doe.

He lost his job as a result of the assault.

The court heard he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2003.

Sentencing him, Sarah Munro, QC, said: ‘The impact on Mr Doe was considerable.’

But she said it was ‘completely out of character’ that Williams got aggressive and took into account his previous good character.

Williams, of Methuen Road, Southsea, was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years.

He received a rehabilitation order and must do 
100 hours of community service.