Man jailed for assaulting neighbour - Clapham

28/11/2014

A cat lover, who blamed a neighbour when two of his pets died, has today, Friday, 28 November 2014, been jailed for assault.

Keith Burton, a 49-year-old grandfather, ranted on Facebook about the neighbour saying he was contemplating the punishment he would inflict. After the assault he bragged: "there was so much claret, justice was done."

Burton attacked the victim as he walked home from the pub on 22 June last year, and headbutted him, knocking two front teeth out, and hit his head on a fence. A Judge said the photographs, taken afterwards looked like he had been in a "war zone."

Burton, of Bridle Drive, Clapham, Beds, pleaded not guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH), but was convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court. On Friday he was back at the court to be sentenced and was jailed for 15 months.

Paul Orton, defending said Burton now accepted causing the injuries. "He is not a well man and this clearly got out of hand. He is very very fond of his cats," said the lawyer.

Judge Michael Kay QC told Burton: "There is a somewhat strange background to this case. You were the owner of four cats and two died within days of each other. You formed the view, without any evidence to support it, that your neighbour was responsible, and you were upset. But you went on Facebook and made a number of deeply unpleasant entries which shows that a great deal of anger was building up inside you. Britain is known as a country of animal lovers and that is not a bad thing. But this is the sort of crime that can occur when people forget that human beings are at least as important, if not more important than animals."

The Judge said the attack in the street was seen by a numberof people, including the neighbour's partner. He said immediate custody was inevitable, but he was reducing the length from two years because of Burton's medical problems.

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