Man who told police he had 'dropped TV on a paedophile's head' jailed

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

An ex-con a court was told had rung 999 and told police he had "dropped a television on a paedophile's head" has been given a six-month jail term.

Prolific crook Jack Brooks (24) was on licence from prison and was drunk on vodka when he launched an "unprovoked" attack and punched the victim.

He inflicted two vertical gashes, which needed hospital treatment, to the back of the victim's head. Both were staying at Highfield House, a probation hostel on Lydia Street, in Accrington. Brooks claimed he assaulted the victim as he had heard he raped a child and he thought he deserved it, a court earlier heard.

At the time of the attack, Brooks, who has dozens of offences on his record and is a convicted arsonist and burglar, was on licence from a two years and eight months jail term imposed in February 2015, after he tried to rob his local shopkeeper in Burnley at knifepoint wearing a zebra print onesie.

In the latest case involving the hostel violence, the defendant, who is from Burnley, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, committed on February 3rd this year.

He had already been recalled to custody and had been committed by the lower court to be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court. Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann had earlier told Burnley Magistrates Court that Brooks made a 999 call, telling police he had assaulted a "paedophile".

She said: "He said 'I have dropped a television on his head and I'm worried about him'. Mrs Mann said the victim told police he couldn't remember much, but he had been at home at Highfield House.

The victim was injured and taken to hospital.

The prosecutor said police went to speak to the defendant after the 999 call telling them he had dropped a television on somebody and they interviewed him. Mrs Mann said the victim did not have any convictions for sexual assault.

She continued: "He does have convictions for possession of indecent images and perhaps word has got round that they are sexual convictions and then it has been embellished."

She said there was no evidence the victim had done what Brooks had alleged.

The prosecutor said Brooks told police: "I don't think I picked up the television and dropped it on him. I shouldn't have done it, but he's in the wrong."

Mr Mark Williams, in mitigation for Brooks, had told the lower court: "The aggrieved doesn't seem to know anything about what has gone on.

In the phone call, the defendant says he hit him with the television. In interview, he said he thought he hit his head on a television. There is no evidence of any broken television or anything of that nature."

The solicitor had continued: "Yes, he has gone in and punched him. It doesn't seem to be sustained. There is no evidence of that. The defendant reported it, he made admissions in interview and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."

District Judge Alexandra Simmonds had told the earlier hearing: "It seems to me this was a deliberate offence. It could be categorised as hate crime."

Brooks appeared in the same crown court dock just over two years ago, after the bungled attempt to steal from The Bottle Shop in Brunshaw Avenue, Burnley, in January 2015.

The court had then heard Brooks had been in the premises, where he was a regular customer, earlier to buy drink and had even been given a free bottle of alcohol by shopkeeper Mushtaq Ahmed.

The defendant had been being very friendly and had been telling him all about his recent 16- month stay in Forest Bank prison, Salford.

The hearing had been told Mr Ahmed, who was working in the convenience store alone, thought at first it was a joke when onesie-clad Brooks walked in an hour later, but realised it wasn't after Brooks pulled a large carving knife on him and terrified him.

Brooks had fled from the store after brave Mr Ahmed got some metal piping and threatened him. He then made off with some friends on a bike and police followed the tracks in the snow and found him