A WIGAN man who repeatedly battered his great-nephew with a baseball bat in a revenge attack has been caged for seven years.
Rodney Wright’s partner, Kelly Delooze, who joined in the attack causing further injuries, was sentenced to two years imprisonment but this was suspended for two years.
Sentencing them Judge Nigel Gilmour, QC, told 52-year-old Wright: “It was a cowardly attack because you were armed and took him by surprise.”
He said that the couple had both acted in revenge because they believed that their victim, Ryan James, had been a party to “an unpleasant and violent burglary” at Wright’s home four days earlier.
After Wright came up behind 21-year-old Mr James as he sat on a settee in Mr Wright’s home he struck him about the head and face with the baseball bat. He tried to flee to the kitchen but was again struck with the bat.
Delooze, 35, who had come downstairs after hearing the noise, picked up an ornament and threw it at him, smashing it. She jumped on his back and flung her arms around his neck.
“With a broken shard of the ornament you then deliberately cut him to the neck causing a very unpleasant injury. Although the scar has faded considerably he will have it for the rest of his life reminding him of your attack,” said Judge Gilmour.
He said that Mr James also bears scars from the baseball attack and had needed a total of 21 stitches in the four lacerations he suffered.
Wright, of William Street, Ince, had been convicted of wounding with intent and Delooze, of Almond Brook Road, Standish, was cleared of that charge after a trial but convicted of the lesser alternative of wounding.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the burglary occurred on March 16 last year and the couple believed Mr James, whom Mr Wright had previously shown kindness by giving him food and shelter, knew something about it.
When he came round on March 20 the attack happened and after he managed to escape he ran to a nearby pub and the police and ambulance were called.
As well as the lacerations from the bat he suffered a gaping wound to his neck from the broken ornament exposing muscle and tendons.
Judge Gilmour told the couple: “I do not believe you feel remorse.”
He said that Delooze had seen “red” after coming downstairs and it had not been a premeditated attack. He said that he was not sending her immediately to jail because of her vulnerability and she has health problems including depression and anxiety.
He placed her under supervision for 18 months and ordered her to attend the probation Women’s Project for 14 weeks. As she left the dock she kissed Wright goodbye.
Her lawyer, Rachel Oakdene, said that she felt hostile to the victim as she had genuinely believed he had been involved in the burglary but it had been a spur of the moment act.
Defence barrister, Martin Callery, said that Wright only had one conviction for violence and that was 20 years ago. He cares for his elderly sick mother.