Man jailed for attacking and stealing from neighbour - Sandridge

16/08/2016

A Sandridge man, who abused the kindness of his neighbour by attacking him and crashing his car, was jailed for 16 months today, Tuesday, 16 August 2016.

Jamal Rattab, aged 36, fought with the man before snatching the keys to his Volvo and smashing it into a bus stop in St Albans, causing damage estimated at £53,000.

Prosecutor Jennifer Dannhauser told St Albans Crown Court that the 69-year-old neighbour woke at half past one in the morning of 25 November to find Rattab on the end of his bed. She said Rattab, who had mental health issues and abused drink and drugs, asked him for money and for the use of his car. The neighbour refused, but made him a cup of tea and some food. Rattab took the car keys from the top of the fridge, but the neighbour retrieved them, knowing he did not have a licence, she said. Rattab then pulled the neighbour along in his chair, causing him to fall over. They ended up fighting on the floor. Rattab grabbed the car keys, leaving his neighbour with a cut to the head.

At 2.20 in the morning, Rattab drove the Volvo into a bus shelter by the Abbey Station. The car was written off and the shelter was demolished. "The driving must have been appalling," said Ms Dannhauser.

While out on bail, and on 22 June this year, Rattab kicked down a wall in St Albans, causing £1,000 damage.

Rattab, of The Berries, Sandridge, St Albans, appeared for sentence via video link from Bedford prison. He had pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, common assault, having no insurance and no licence. He also admitted criminal damage to the wall. He had 16 convictions for 34 offences.

Defending, Sarah-Kate McIntyre said that since being in Bedford prison, Rattab had suffered anxiety and breathing problems. She said his mental health issues meant he had been struggling more than most in custody.

Jailing him, Judge John Plumstead said: "I accept you have underlying health difficulties, but I am sure you have aggravated your own problems by the use of cannabis, cocaine and alcohol." The Judge told Rattab: "You behaved in a mean way to a man, who had showed you Christian charity, by bullying and assaulting him."

In addition to the custodial sentence, Rattab was banned from driving for 2 years.

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