Colchester roofer spared jail sentence to spend time with terminally ill brother

David Chambers, of Great Bentley, has been cleared by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of assaulting a

David Chambers, of Great Bentley, has been cleared by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of assaulting a plumber in Jaywick Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A Colchester roofer who punched a man in the face breaking his jaw in two places has been spared prison by a judge to allow him to spend time with his terminally ill brother.

Sentencing 23-year-old Sheldon McKay Judge Rupert Overbury described the attack on Joshua Briggs as “drunken, spontaneous violence against someone who was entirely innocent”.

However, he said that although young men of his age who got drunk and committed unprovoked acts of violence would ordinarily go to prison he had decided to pass a suspended sentence as an act of mercy to allow his terminally ill brother to have his family around him without worrying about his brother in prison.

Judge Overbury described the case as “ very rare and unusual” and said this had allowed him to take an exceptional course.

However, he warned McKay that if he breached the suspended sentence in any way he would be brought back to court and the suspended sentence would be activated.

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McKay, of Ridgewell Way, Colchester, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Briggs on February 25, 2017.

He also admitted threatening to take revenge on May 8 last year by threatening to stab Mr Briggs because he believed he had assisted in a police investigation.

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He was given a two year prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

He was also given a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement and to take part in a Resolve programme aimed at reducing violent and aggressive behaviour.

McKay was also ordered to lay Mr Briggs £2,000 compensation.

Matthew Morgan, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, read out parts of a victim statement made by Mr Briggs in which he said he had undergone surgery following the attack to have metal plates inserted in his jaw and chin.

He had the metal plates removed last year and also had three teeth removed.

In the statement Mr Briggs said that following the attack he had felt vulnerable when he was out and was constantly looking over his shoulder for McKay and his friends.

Adam Budworth, for McKay, said his client was sorry for the “horrible” surgery Mr Briggs had undergone for his injuries.

He said McKay had made the threat to stab Mr Briggs on the spur of the moment.

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