Leigh Park thug jailed for launching vicious attack on wrong man in case of mistaken identity
A VICTIM of mistaken identity was subjected to a vicious attack in his back garden where he was beaten on the ground with a metal bicycle pump over the head repeatedly.
Jack Cole, 29, kicked through an outside gate into the Havant multiple-occupancy house at 4.30pm on February 7 and shouted ‘where is he’ before chasing the male occupier down the garden.
The victim, who was left ‘fearing for his safety’ after the surprise ambush, raced to the back door to get inside the house but was left stranded after his key got stuck.
‘Mr Cole then pulled him back and attacks him in the garden,’ prosecutor Jonathan Underhill told Portsmouth Crown Court.
‘There is a struggle where Mr Cole gets the better of the victim.
‘Mr Cole pushed the victim against the fence and to the floor and strikes him to the head repeatedly with a metal bike pump.’
The occupier then escaped out the garden gate and fled to a nearby friend’s house where an ambulance was called with him feeling ‘dizzy’ after suffering four cuts to the head - including a 5cm gash that needed stitches.
Meanwhile, with the house vacant, Cole proceeded to burgle the property with him carrying out an ‘untidy search’ where he smashed two televisions before making off on a push bike belonging to the victim.
The court was told how Cole - who had spotted CCTV during his raid - had the ‘wherewithal’ to get the CCTV hard drive from inside the house.
Police subsequently went to an address in Havant and arrested the defendant.
Cole, of Highwood Lawn, Leigh Park, had committed the offence while on bail following a charge of assaulting an emergency worker at the time.
Sam Barker, defending, said the incident was ‘horrible’ but was ‘not targeted’ with it ‘spontaneous in nature’.
‘It was extremely frightening,’ he said. ‘There was no connection between the defendant and the victim.
‘(The attack) seems to have been a reaction to something that happened earlier in the day.
‘The poor victim seems to have been wrongly identified or was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
Cole admitted charges of unlawful wounding, burglary of a dwelling property and theft.
The court heard the defendant had nine convictions for 12 offences which included being jailed for five-and-a-half-years for robbery with a bladed article in 2014.
Mr Barker said Cole, a recovering drug addict who used cannabis, crack cocaine and cocaine, was ‘ashamed’ of the incident and put the offending down to being intoxicated on drugs at the time.
During his four months in custody while awaiting sentence, Cole had received ‘enhanced prisoner status’ for his efforts to reform while behind bars.
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Recorder James Bromige acknowledged Cole’s transformation but pointed out how the defendant had also ‘turned his life around’ after being released from jail in 2017 before once again turning to drugs.
‘You still present a risk to the public,’ he said.
Cole was then jailed for 23 months and handed an indefinite restraining order not to contact the victim.