December 9 2013 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Saturday, August 17, 2013
A man who called police to report his car stolen assaulted the person who took it while he was still on the phone to a police call handler who heard him “threaten to kill” the victim, a court has heard.
Warren Burrows, 44, of Rowan Close, Bradwell, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on August 10 last year.
The court heard that Burrows and another man had been out drinking all day before “it appears there was a misunderstanding between them” and the defendant’s Audi car was taken “without permission”.
Chris Youell, prosecuting, said Burrows was “angry” that the car had been taken and in the early hours of the morning, about 3.07am on August 10, he called 999 to report that someone had taken his car.
Mr Youell said: “While on the phone its clear that the car and the man arrive at the address.”
Burrows told the call handler that the man had arrived in the car before going out to see him in a confrontation which can be heard by the member of police staff who is still on the line.
Burrows is heard to say, “what are you playing at, what are you playing at, driving off in my car. Give me my car keys now; I will kill you, I will kill you boy, it’s a man’s car.”
The defendant is also heard to say “I will take you out again” before telling the man to “get up off the floor” when he was ready.
Concerned that Burrows had heard Burrows say he was “going to kill” the man she relayed that information to police who attended the address as part of a Grade A response at 3.12am and saw the vehicle and the defendant who admitted “I did hit him”.
The victim had run off but was found nearby with “blood pouring from his mouth”, his hands “covered in blood” and with “deformed fingers”.
Mr Youell said Burrows accepts “putting his foot” on the victim’s forehead when he was on the ground but said he did not stamp on him which is accepted by the crown.
He appeared “somewhat dazed” and was taken to the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) for treatment and ultimately had to have an operation on a broken finger which he is still suffering problems with as a result of restricted movement.
He also needed to have a significant amount of dental work and has suffered psychologically as a result of the assault.
Peter Marshall, mitigating, said there was an “element of provocation” to the assault which was an “impulsive act” and a “loss of control” after the defendant had his car, which he had only owned for four weeks and was of “considerable value” taken.
Mr Marshall said the guilty plea showed there was “remorse and regret” as well as an “acceptance and admission” that “he knows what he has done on this occasion was wrong”.
In a plea to the judge not to jail Burrows, Mr Marshall said the defendant was a “family man” with two children, 12 and six, who was the sole carer for his 82-year-old father who, weighing 20 stone, was “fundamentally immobile”.
Mr Marshall said if Burrows was sent to prison immediately his father would be “grossly and disproportionately affected” and urged him to suspend any sentence following this “unfortunate” incident.
Judge Nicholas Coleman sentenced Burrows to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, given a supervision order for 18 months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.