Clacton: Burglar who attacked man with iron bar is jailed

A CLACTON man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after attacking a restaurant worker with an iron bar during a burglary.

Perry Martin, 43, of Knox Road, was caught inside the home of Indian takeaway owner Abdul Muttakabia in London Road, Stanway on October 15. As Martin tried to escape he struck Kumar Salim who had also come to the flat, causing him actual bodily harm.

Initially, he denied aggravated burglary and actual bodily harm but was convicted after trial.

Mr Muttakabia, who owns the Spice of India takeaway, went to his flat located above the Ocean fish bar nearby to pray at around 10pm when he saw Martin in one of his rooms.

During the trial, the court heard how Martin was holding an iron bar and had tried to swing it at Mr Muttakabia but missed. Martin then forced his way past him but was chased by the owner and two members of staff who had heard noise inside the flat.

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Although he was restrained by the three men, Martin managed to hit Mr Salim before police arrived at the scene.

During sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, Martin’s lawyer said that although he has a long list of unenviable previous convictions, there was no evidence of serious violence in his past and that an earlier domestic violence case had been dismissed.

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The defence counsel disputed the pre-sentence report which concluded that Martin posed a high risk of serious harm to the public, arguing that he had reacted out of panic during this incident when he was confronted and does not pose a significant risk.

Judge Laura Harris agreed Martin did not have a history of violence but described his record of previous criminal offences as ‘appalling.’

“I accept the property appeared unoccupied and the iron bar was taken to enter the house but there is always a risk of confrontation and he showed he was prepared to use violence to escape,” she said.

Martin was serving a ten month suspended sentence for a similar offence at the time of the burglary and was ‘dealt with leniently,’ according to the judge.

The defence counsel told the judge that Martin had been staying on the healthcare wing in prison leading up to sentencing due to prostate cancer and asked her to bear this in mind before sentencing.

Martin was sentenced to five years for aggravated burglary, nine months for actual bodily harm to run concurrently, and seven months for breach of suspended sentence.

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