COURT: Man battered with hockey stick in Boroughbridge attack

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A man was hit with a hockey stick by his ex-wife’s new partner during a set-to in the street.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was shouting foul-mouthed threats at 45-year-old Richard Guest, a hockey player who brought out his stick and rained blows down on his rival, who was sat in his car with the seat belt on and door open.

Guest, a Ministry of Defence engineer, then took swipes at the victim’s Ford Focus.

The terrifying incident occurred outside the house Guest shared with his partner in Great Ouseburn, near Boroughbridge.

Rod Hunt, prosecuting, told York Crown Court that the victim, who suffered a broken wrist in the attack, had turned up at the house just as Guest arrived on his return from a hockey game.

“There was a flaring of temper, particularly on the part of the defendant, and blows were struck with the hockey stick into the car where (the victim) was sitting,” said Mr Hunt.

“He drove away, but there was damage to the car (including) the windscreen wiper and car roof.”

Mr Hunt said the victim also suffered bruising and marks to his body after being struck by multiple blows with the hockey stick. He had to have a plaster cast applied to his wrist and was given antibiotics for his injuries.

Guest, of Springfield Road, Boroughbridge, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared in the dock on Tuesday.

His barrister Abbas Lakha QC said that in the months leading up to the incident on March 29, the victim had been harassing his wife and writing hurtful things about Guest on the internet.

He added that the victim and his wife had separated long before she started a new relationship with Guest, who “momentarily” lost his temper in the street following an “extended period of threats and harassment”.

Mr Lakha said that since the incident, the victim had boasted on social media about Guest being brought before the courts and that he was “relishing” the day he would be sentenced.

He said the victim warned his wife she would go through “six years of hell” following the break-up of their turbulent marriage. Matters came to a head a few weeks ago when he was served with a harassment notice after his wife lodged a complaint with police.

Mr Lakha told said Guest would lose his job if given a custodial sentence.

Recorder Toby Hedworth QC told Guest that while the attack was inexcusable, “you yourself had not said or done anything untoward towards (the victim), who was not an entirely-innocent party in this case.”

Mr Hedworth said that because of this, and the fact that he and his partner had been subjected to “significant and wholly unjustified provocation” for months on end, he could take the “unusual” step of imposing a conditional discharge.

Guest was given a 12-month discharge and ordered to pay criminal court costs of £900. He was also ordered to pay £750 prosecution costs and a £15 statutory surcharge.