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JAILED: Dudley man attacked friend who refused to pay for heroin

By John Scott | Dudley | Crime | Published:

A man who savagely attacked a friend after he refused to help him buy heroin has been jailed for seven years.

Lee James from Dudley has been locked up

Lee James turned violent after John Davies bought him a drink but refused to give him money for drugs, a judge heard.

The 36-year-old struck as the pair walked side by side across a car park after leaving the Beacon Hotel in Bilston Street, Sedgley, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

He suddenly punched the unsuspecting victim who was caught off guard and felled by the blow, it was said.

CCTV film footage then showed James punch and kick the head of the motionless figure while also crouching alongside the prone man to threateningly shake his fist in the victim's face, explained Mr Tim Sapwell, prosecuting.

The attacker walked away but returned to punch the helpless victim once more before leaving others to call for an ambulance.

Fractures, bruises and lost teeth

The injured man had a fracture to the base of the skull that stretched to the eye socket leaving him with blurred vision that made reading difficult, the court heard.

He also had a fracture to the temple bone, bruising around both eyes and lost three teeth.

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He had known James 'on and off' for ten years and met him by chance in Sedgley town centre on May 27 2017, said Mr Sapwell who continued: "The defendant told him he was out of work and had no money. Mr Davies bought him a drink, does not remember much of what happened after that but recalls the defendant became angry after he refused to give him money to buy heroin."

James was not interviewed by police until December 7 2017 when he admitted lashing out at Davies following an unspecified disagreement.

Mr Sapwell added: "This had a massive effect on the injured party who was once a confident person and now suffers from panic attacks. He has had to give up his job in a factory because he cannot bear the noise. He has trouble with his hearing and struggles to read."

The defendant had previous convictions for violence which were all committed ten or more years ago after which before the latest attack. He stayed out of trouble during the

Friends and family wrote glowing references for him saying he was a changed man who became 'kind and thoughtful.' Mr Mukhtar Ubhi, defending, insisted: "This was a one off incident."

James, from Springfield Grove, Dudley, pleaded guilty on the day of trial to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed by Judge James Burbidge QC who told him: "This was a significant attack on a person who was unable to defend himself."

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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