Father and son avoid jail sentence

A FATHER and son, who beat up a man to apparently protect their loved ones, narrowly avoided immediate jail sentences, it emerged today.

A FATHER and son, who beat up a man following a family dispute, narrowly avoided immediate jail sentences, it emerged today.

Antony Blackwell, 50, and his son, Aaron, 21, of Clover Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court and were given a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The court heard how the incident was the culmination of a dispute between the Blackwell family and their daughter's partner, Alan Chennery.

Mr Chennery had left his partner's house at around 10pm on May 16 this year, and was driving along Lindbergh Road when he spotted his partner's father and brother in a car coming towards him.

Prosecuting, Lesla Small, said: “Although he and his partner have been together for a couple of years, his partner's family does not like him.

“Aaron got out of the car and put his arm through the open driver's window and grabbed the steering wheel. He had to jump on the brakes to avoid a collision.”

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It was then heard how he was punched repeatedly in the face and head by both Blackwells in turn.

He tried to cover his head with his hands and used his right leg to push Blackwell senior away but this gave the younger Blackwell the chance to hit his shin using a tool, it was heard.

Following the incident, Mr Chennery was taken to hospital and received treatment for severe bruising and swelling to the eye. He was signed off work for two months and claimed he has been too afraid to leave his house since the incident.

Mitigating, Charles Riddleston, said: “I ask you to treat these people as being of good characters. There was a build up of incidents in recent years. Matters came to a head on May 16.

“Both defendants do not seek to justify what they did and they both express remorse.

“It was a chance meeting.”

In sentencing the pair, magistrates said they took personal mitigation into account.

As well as being given the suspended sentences, they were also ordered to do 170 hours of unpaid work, pay £600 compensation each to Mr Chennery and pay costs of £65 each.

Do you think this sentence was fair? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.