Anger at online images sparked axe attack on man as children watched
A Suffolk welder has been jailed for more than four-and-a-half years for attacking a man with an axe in front of two children.
Ashley Braham launched the assault on Anthony Kelly near a supermarket in Haverhill.
Ipswich Crown Court heard an enraged Braham went to confront his victim on April 12 for posting “explicit” images on social media.
Braham, of Conway Close, said he found the weapon on his way to intimidate Mr Kelly into handing over his phone in order to delete the photos.
Mr Kelly was with friends – and two of their young children – in an area behind Cangle Road Tesco car park when he approached.
Prosecutor Michael Crimp said Mr Kelly’s attempt to diffuse the situation by pleading “let’s talk – I have a daughter” were ignored, but that he was eventually able to flee and get hospital treatment for two large gashes to the head, as well as cuts to the arms and chest.
A CT scan later showed minimal displacement of his left skull.
Braham handed himself in to police – later admitting possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and grievous bodily harm.
In mitigation, Roger Thomson called Braham a man of previously good character with no criminal convictions, while the judge was handed 13 character references describing him as a “highly regarded family man”.
Mr Thomson said: “Ongoing issues between the victim and Mr Braham’s family resulted in Mr Kelly posting two explicit images on a social media chat, to which Mr Braham’s stepdaughter and friends had access. This, not surprisingly, caused distress for Mr Braham and his partner.
“On the day of the incident, Mr Braham went to the pub and ruminated. Knowing where Mr Kelly tended to hang around, he decided to challenge him.
“He said he found an axe, which he took to defend himself, but ended up using it. He finds it difficult to explain why, but he knows the consequences and is remorseful.
“This was not an unprovoked attack. It’s no excuse, of course, but it’s not an unrelated fact.”
Judge John Devaux said the background of the case explained Braham’s otherwise inexplicable actions, but added: “It took place in front of children, who were badly affected, and although you were not drunk, alcohol contributed to your behaviour.”
Braham was sentenced to a total of 56 months in prison for the attack.