North East Wales

Disabled man attack lands pair three years' custody

Two men who attacked a disabled man in his own home have each been given three years' custody at Mold Crown Court.

James Toby Wilkinson, 27, of Prestatyn, Denbighshire, and Thomas McManus, 19, of Gronant, Flintshire, admitted unlawfully wounding Stephen Delaney.

The jury heard the assault happened after they were not shown a display plate which they thought valuable.

Wilkinson was jailed. McManus, who also admitted possessing a knife, received three years youth detention.

Emmalyne Downing, prosecuting, said the defendants asked to be let in after ringing the doorbell of Mr Delaney's home in Gronant in the early hours one day in March this year but were at first refused.

After being told they would not be long, Mr Delaney let them in and poured them a glass of wine.

Wilkinson began asking about a particular display plate he thought valuable, the court heard.

When Mr Delaney told them he had sold it, he was accused of lying and was attacked.

Wilkinson said: "Let's do it". As McManus held a knife to Mr Delaney's throat, Wilkinson said: "Go on, do him."

The court heard Wilkinson then picked up a vase and struck Mr Delaney twice over the head with it. When the vase broke, he picked up a jug and then used that to continue the assault.

Ms Downing said: "The victim felt powerless, was stuck in his chair and he thought that he was going to be killed."

Judge Philip Hughes said Mr Delaney had been badly affected by the trauma and required 11 stitches.

Health affected

He told the defendants: "The two of you were in this very much together - a joint attack on a vulnerable victim in his own home."

He said if the pair had been convicted after a trial then they could have expected a sentence of four-and-a-half years.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Delaney told how he was disabled, suffered flash backs, was reluctant to go out, and he said that the attack had set his health back.

The court heard that after the attack, the pair allowed Mr Delaney to ring the police who found the two defendants still sitting in the victim's living room.

Henry Hills, defending Wilkinson, said his client, who had been drinking vodka, was ashamed and remorseful and genuinely could not remember what had happened.

The court heard that in his police interview, McManus suggested Mr Delaney had fallen over but had limited recollection of the incident due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

Gwyn Jones, defending McManus, stressed that the knife had not been used.

He said his client was a most naïve and immature teenager who accepted that anyone who had a knife in such a situation had to go to custody.