Colne man jailed after drugs centre fracas

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A PROLIFIC crook who launched a “savage” attack on a man at a drink and drugs help centre has been locked up for 94 weeks.

Former heroin addict Paul Dwyer set about Keith Cavanagh at Inspire because he claimed the victim owed him cash. The defendant had been arrested and told police: “No worries. I need a bit of jail time to get my head together,” Burnley Crown Court was told.

Dwyer, who has almost 150 offences on his record dating back to 1993, had admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and had been committed for sentence by magistrates. The defendant (35), of Lower School Street, Colne, had been the subject of a suspended jail term.

The court had been told how Dwyer, who hit the victim repeatedly with a walking stick, left him with a cut to the back of his head and pain in his head and back.

The victim had gone to Inspire with his partner and had seen Dwyer on the other side of the room. The men, who had known each other for 20 years, had fallen out at the beginning of this year over the tenancy of the defendant’s home while he had been in jail. Mr Cavanagh claimed he went over to Dwyer to try to patch things up. Dwyer was abusive and the victim returned to his partner. The defendant shouted a threat to him and then walked up to him and hit him repeatedly with the stick. Mr Cavanagh went to the floor unconscious and Dwyer kicked him in the head while he was prone.

Mr Richard Taylor (for Dwyer) said Mr Cavanagh had moved into his home while he was in custody, he had thought he was looking after it and found he had no home to come out to and he owed £1,750.

Mr Cavanagh suggested he was going to get nothing back. The solicitor added: “He fully accepts he completely over-reacted and I think he may have said in interview he flipped.”

Sentencing, Judge Graham Knowles said the attack had been outrageous and savage. He said Dwyer had been jailed for affray in January and last November received a suspended term for having a bladed article in public. The judge continued: “The carrying of weapons is nothing out of the ordinary for you.”

Judge Knowles, who activated the suspended sentence, added: “I bear in mind you did this where people need what little peace they can get.”