Man convicted and jailed for wounding - Bedford

13/07/2012

A serious road accident changed the course of Ricardo Martin's life, a court was told, which culminated in him being sent to prison.

The accident caused dreadful leg injuries needing many operations. It was after one such an operation that he was using a crutch which he used to assault a man he claimed had called him a 'cripple.'

The assault left Paulo Soares needing stitches to a head wound. A Judge at Luton Crown Court said there had been a history of bad blood between the two Portuguese men.

Martin, 34 of Rutland Road, Bedford had denied the charge of wounding but was convicted by a jury last month.

On Friday, 13 July 2012, he was sentenced to 15-months imprisonment.

Judge Stuart Bridge told him: "You attacked your victim with a crutch, it was a sustained attack, an act of revenge. He needed nine stitches to a head wound leaving a small but permanent scar.

"You only now accept limited responsibility, and show limited remorse.

"I accept you had an unfortunate accident four years ago which has had a serious effect on the way you carry on with your life."

Francis Gaskin, for the Crown Prosecution Service said the assault occurred in Rutland Road on 03 December last year.

The two men knew each other, but were not friends. That night they exchanged derogatory remarks and were swearing at each other in Portuguese.

"The defendant then struck him with his crutch several times to his head. One witness said there was at least seven blows.

"Both parties then called police and Martin claimed he had been acting in self defence."

Jane Anderson, defending said: "He had the crutch with him as he had recently been discharged from hospital following a leg operation.

"He had worked his way up to become a chef, but within a few weeks of obtaining a very good job he was involved in a car accident on the A6 and suffered serious injuries to his leg.

"He has been unable to work since then and has had countless operations. He has become emotionally and mentally drained.

"He found it very hurtful and offensive to be called a cripple and as a consequence acted in the way he did."

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