Man jailed for brutal assault in daylight

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Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Hadleigh man who carried out a vicious assault in broad daylight has been jailed.

Leon Barnes, of Toppesfield, was told that because he had refused to co-operate with a psychiatric assessment to examine his problems, there was no option other than immediate custody.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Wednesday how Richard Liddament had been walking in Angel Street on May 5 when he heard someone calling his name.

He turned and saw Barnes, 27, who ran towards him and landed a blow to the side of Mr Liddament’s head, causing him to briefly black out, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

As Barnes began to kick his victim as he lay on the ground, Mr Liddament struck out in self-defence, causing Barnes to also fall down.

Mr Liddament managed to get to his feet and run to a nearby shop, locking the door behind him, while Barnes remained outside until police arrived and he was arrested.

As a result of the attack, Mr Liddament suffered an egg-sized lump to his head and grazing to his elbow, leg and thigh. His mobile phone, worth £500, was damaged, as was his shirt.

The attack had been unprovoked, said Mr Crimp. After his arrest, Barnes declined to answer police questions about the incident.

In mitigation, Jacob Edwards said Barnes had a number of personal problems but felt he had nothing that required the involvement of a psychiatrist, which is why he had refused to co-operate with an assessment while he was on remand in HMP Norwich.

Barnes pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and admitted being in breach of a community order imposed for offences committed last year, including assaulting his father. Barnes was jailed for 12 months.