‘No justice’ - mum’s fury at son’s jail sentence
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 June 2011
THE mother of a Weston dad who has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for beating up a serial criminal says ‘there is no justice in the world’.
Matthew Bowen attacked Dean Mason with an iron bar last April, after years of torment from the ASBO teenager directed towards those living on the Potteries estate.
The final straw came when 18-year-old Mr Mason was accused of setting his Staffordshire bull terrier, Tyson, on the Bowen’s family cat and killing it – a claim denied by Mr Mason.
On Friday, 24-year-old Bowen was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to four-and-a-half years behind bars for wounding with intent.
The father-of-two had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting Mason in the early hours of April 4 last year.
But Matthew’s mother Lynette, of Bridge Road, says although her family accepts a crime was done and a punishment was needed, the court did not seem to take into account the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Matthew, who has a two-year-old daughter, is currently behind bars at Horfield Prison in Bristol and it will be two years and three months before he will be considered for probation.
Lynette, aged 48, said: “The judge says he believed it was planned and a weapon was used, but this feels so unjust.
“His daughter keeps asking where her daddy is. There is no justice in the world. The judge says he feels sorry for Matthew and his family, but that he has guidelines to follow.
“We admit Matthew did the wrong thing, but nobody seems interested in the provocation he had. It’s just a case of ‘here are my guidelines and this is what you’re getting’.”
Bowen, also of Bridge Road, was originally jointly charged with his brother, 19-year-old Josh Goodwin, who was cleared of any role in the incident by a jury.
The court heard how Mr Mason has offended repeatedly since he was a young child, defiantly breaching court and police restrictions placed on him and making his neighbours’ lives a misery.
Lynette told the Mercury she has to have a camera over her front door and has been living in fear of Mr Mason for at least five years.
She says her son finally snapped after seeing his family and their neighbours being put through years of torment at the hands of the serial offender.
During Mr Goodwin’s trial, the court heard how there were 66 complaints from neighbours about Mr Mason to the police between November 2006 and March 2010 for allegations including robbery, burglary, theft, assault, criminal damage and public disorder. Some, but not all, he was prosecuted for.
He had also been given an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) following convictions for burglary and taking without consent, but breached that five times.
When he was given the ASBO at the age of 15, evidence in court suggested he had been throwing dog mess at children, swearing and intimidating residents, stealing from neighbours’ gardens, threatening to kill a neighbour’s dog and smash another’s windows.