‘Traumatised’ man gets curfew for assault

A MAN who said he was ‘traumatised for life’ after being the victim of a violent attack in September was sentenced for assault on Tuesday.

James Shortt, of Marconi Close, Weston, turned up at Andrew Critchley’s house in May and pushed him to the ground, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Earlier this month the Mercury reported on its front page how Shortt had been beaten with a pick-axe handle and left ‘for dead’ for a share of �50 by Lyndon Meek.

Meek, aged 26, was sentenced to four years in prison while co-defendant Kevin Dean received 40 months at Bristol Crown Court for robbery and grievous bodily harm.

Shortt told the Mercury he was ‘disgusted’ the pair received such short sentences for the attack in September.

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However, the 48-year-old was sentenced for common assault and handling stolen goods at the same court on Tuesday.

He received a three-month curfew and a 12-month supervision order, attached to a community order.

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Prosecutor Richard Posner told the court Shortt ‘took the law into his own hands’ after an allegation Mr Critchley had inappropriately befriended a teenage girl.

Shortt knocked on the victim’s door in the early hours of the morning in May and when Critchley denied the allegations, Shortt shoved him to the ground and told him not to tell the police.

More offences against Critchley were committed by people associated with Shortt in the days after the assault, the court heard.

Shortt also came to own a guitar which was taken from Critchley’s house, though there was no suggestion he had taken it directly.

The attack had left Critchley ‘nervous and afraid’ and too scared to return to his home afterwards, the court heard.

Judge Martin Picton said: “Mr Shortt has a history of mental illness. He is a damaged and vulnerable person himself.

“While you have your difficulties and vulnerabilities, other people do as well.

“Mr Critchley was very upset by what happened on that day and understandably so.”

The judge added that the sentence recognises Shortt’s situation and ‘the need to support and rehabilitate as well as punish’.

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