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Norwich man attacked dog walker

PUBLISHED: 13:52 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:44 02 July 2010

Christine Cunningham

A Norwich resident was so fed up with a dog fouling problem on his doorstep, he snapped and attacked a dog walker, hitting him in the face with a bag of dog excrement and prodding him with a garden fork, a court heard.

A Norwich resident was so fed up with a dog fouling problem on his doorstep, he snapped and attacked a dog walker, hitting him in the face with a bag of dog excrement and prodding him with a garden fork, a court heard.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Richard Rushmer, 40, who was described as being a “quietly spoken and peaceful individual,” became irate when he thought a dog being walked by the victim, James Brennan, had fouled in the communal garden area of the flat on Wilby Road, Norwich.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting said Mr Brennan had been staying with a friend at the flat and was walking his dog which was described as a pit-bull terrier type dog, when he became aware of Rushmer looking at his dog and he was holding a plastic bag in his hand.

Mrs Tucker said that Rushmer had shouted at Mr Brennan and had hit him in the face with his right hand which was still holding the plastic bag, which contained dog excrement. He then threatened to kill Mr Brennan's dog and picked up a garden fork and pointed it at Mr Brennan.

Mrs Tucker said: “Mr Brennan asked him to calm down.”

However Rushmer thrust the fork at Mr Brennan so it made contact with his rib area. Mr Brennan ran off and contacted the police.

Mrs Tucker said that Mr Brennan suffered grazes to his rib area and arm as a result of the assault.

Rushmer of Wilby Road, Norwich, admitted assaulting Mr Brennan, causing him actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Rushmer had one previous conviction for being a protestor at the Lakenheath air base, for which he was given a 12 month conditional discharge, of which he was now in breach.

Judge Paul Downes imposed a three-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and a 12 month supervision order. He also bound him over in the sum of £100.

Michael Clare, for Rushmer, said that he had been plagued with problems over dog fouling in the area over the past 18 months and had made complaints about it in the past.

“This defendant is the most unlikely defendant facing an actual bodily harm charge. He is a quietly spoken, peaceful individual.”

He said Rushmer prided himself on wanting to find peaceful solutions to problems and that is why he had taken part in a peace protest at Lakenheath.

Mr Clare said that Mr Rushmer was ashamed of the way he had behaved on this occasion. He said there were problems in the past of dogs defecating in the gardens in which he took pride.

“He did not use the dogs mess as a weapon. It happened to be in his hand as he had just picked it up.”

He said that Mr Rushmer had been under intense provocation because of other matters in the past.

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