Man who attacked victim with ashtray is jailed

Dean Middler was jailed for GBH at Ipswich Crown Court

Dean Middler was jailed for three years and four months at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Essex Police

A 39-year-old who beat a man over the head with an ashtray in a "frenzied" attack just two days after being handed a suspended sentence order has been jailed. 

Dean Middler committed the attack in Colchester on February 5 this year - just two days after Judge Emma Peters sentenced him to 14 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Ipswich Crown Court for sending malicious communications and possessing a knife. 

Middler was back before the same judge on Tuesday to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm (section 20). 

Prosecutor Stephen Mather said Middler had met the victim in Colchester High Street around 8pm, and the pair did not previously know each other. 

The victim felt Middler was down and so he invited him back to his flat, Mr Mather told the court. 

Middler, the victim and his friend began drinking vodka and were smoking cigarettes. 

But around 10pm, the victim said Middler started to become disrespectful, flicking ash from his cigarette onto the floor, Mr Mather told the court. 

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The victim asked him to stop and use the ashtray but when he did not, the victim asked him to leave. 

Middler then went face-to-face with the victim before punching him to the head several times, the court heard. 

Middler then picked up the ashtray and hit the victim over the head with it three times, causing lacerations to his nose, near his left eye and on the top of his head. 

The police were called at 10.33pm by neighbours and blood could be seen everywhere on the floor of the flat, Mr Mather said. 

When officers told Middler he was being arrested on suspicion of causing ABH, he corrected them and said it should be GBH, the court heard. 

In a victim personal statement, read in court by Mr Mather, the man said it was a "horrific experience" and had suffered flashbacks as a result of the attack. 

Middler, of Hunting Gate, Colchester, who has 32 previous convictions for 69 offences, suffered a brain injury in 2014. 

Judge Peters said: "This was a frenzied attack on a blameless man. 

"I gave you a chance because of your brain injury but that chance was not taken up."

Middler was jailed for 26 months for the assault and Judge Peters also activated the 14-month suspended sentence in full to run consecutively. 

This means Middler was jailed for a total of three years and four months, and will have to serve half that sentence before he is released on licence.