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Source : 25/09/1987 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A former member of the Jesus Fellowship has been sentenced to 15 months youth custody for hitting a man with a broken milk bottle.

The man admitted unlawfully wounding a man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on May 30

Mr Michael Stokes, prosecuting, at Northampton Crown Court, said the wounding happened aafter the man had been drinking with friends in Northampton.

They left the Old Five Bells pub and went to a chip shop where the man and one of his friends parted from the others after a disagreement.

The man and his friend turned into Nursey Lane, heading for the house in Clarence Avenue, where the others would be going later. They stopped outside a house to say goodnight to each other.

The house owner, a married man with small children, was concerned about the noise they were making and he and his brother-in-law went out to ask them to be quiet.

His brother-in-law thought he was going to be assaulted and punched the man on the face, giving him a bloody nose.

The man rushed back to the house where his friends were and two of his friends agreed to go back to the house. On the way they picked up empty milk bottles which were stacked outside a shop.

The man threw some of the milk bottles through the windscreen of a van belonging to the house owners employer, which was parked outside the house. The house owner, his wife, and brother-in-law came out to see what was happening.

The man picked up one of the milk bottles, smashed it and held the remains in his hand, said Mr Stokes. Then a fight started between the man, his friends and the house owner and his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law was fighting with the two friends and was knocked to the ground.

The house owners wife told the man if he was going to fight he should fight fair and he threatened to hit her with the bottle. The house owner came forward to defend his wife and the man lashed out.

He hit the house owner on the left arm, leaving a wound 15 cm long which penetrated almost to the bone and left the arm muscle exposed.

Mr. Stephen Waine, defending, said the man had lived with the Jesus Fellowship community at Cornhill Manor in 1986 but left because he wanted to form a relationship with a woman from the community, which was not allowed by the rules of the Fellowship.

'He went back to his bad old days of drinking too much. After the offence he went back to the community until he was arrested,' he said.

Mr. Wayne said the assault was completely out of character and the Jesus Fellowship were happy to have the man back at any time.

Judge Hilary Gosling said it was one of the most serious offences and the injury was very bad.

'It is important that you have now got people who care for you and who support you,' he said.

He added that the normal sentence for an assault of this kind would be around three years, but bearing in mind the man's age, circumstances and the fact he pleaded guilty he would not impose such a heavy sentence.