Teenager locked up for Walsall 'gangster' attack over £8 debt
An 18-year-old apprentice electrician is behind bars after behaving "like a gangster" over an £8 debt.
Dean Ward armed himself with a metal bar and recruited two or three friends before launching a vicious attack on Hayden Homer who allegedly owed him the money, a judge heard.
The defendant claimed to have been punched in the face when he asked for the cash back and decided to get his own back, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
The victim saw the gang dashing towards him while he smoked outside the Sir Robert Peel pub in Bell Lane, Walsall, at around 6pm on April 14, said Mrs Sati Ruck, prosecuting.
He recognised Ward, who had gone to the same school as him and was carrying a metal bar.
Mr Homer stumbled while trying to run away and was pounced on by Ward who hit him four times on the left arm and once on the hip with the bar before he and the others repeatedly kicking the victim who managed to roll away from the flailing feet and escape, continued the prosecutor.
The gang unsuccessfully tried to corner him several times and gave up the chase after he disappeared over a fence, it was said.
Police had been called to the scene by eye witnesses and caught Ward after he had hidden the iron bar that was found soon afterwards.
His victim had a gashed wrist as well as bruises and grazes all over his body and face.
Mr Charles Crinion, defending, maintained the teenager, currently in the final year of a three-year electrical apprenticeship, had behaved out of character and added : "It was an aberration and he is full of remorse but thankfully the injuries were not as serious as they might have been."
Ward, from Chantry Avenue, Walsall and of previous good character, admitted assault and was given 12 months detention in a Young Offenders Institution by Judge Simon Ward who told him:
"You behaved like a gangster, arming yourself and getting a gang together.
"If you had not done that it would have been different but this was an outrageous offence and I would not be doing my duty if I did not sent you into custody."
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