AN ARMED moped driver wielded a hammer to fend off people throwing stones at his girlfriend’s car, a court heard.

Stephen Colley has been spared jail after he armed himself with a hammer and drove to North Shoebury Road, Shoebury on June 25 last year.

The 19-year-old of Kursaal Way, Southend, had heard a group of people were allegedly throwing stones at his girlfriend’s car, enraging him and forcing him into action.

Basildon Crown Court heard his ex-partner’s new boyfriend was one of the group.

Prosecuting, Daniel Jones said: “This defendant drove through North Shoebury Road with another man, got off and was swinging a hammer around his head and chased off the woman’s boyfriend.

“He gets back onto the bike after the boyfriend ran away and he drove off as well.”

Adam Budworth, mitigating, said Colley genuinely believed his partner was under attack.

He said: “The basis of this starting was a woman was throwing stones at his girlfriend’s car.

“He thought his girlfriend was under attack and there was no particular reason for her to be there on that day with a group of people.

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“He is now aged 19, and working hard and about to get a council flat, and he has had no offences in the last 12 months.”

Mr Budworth said Colley, who admitted affray, did not store the weapon and picked it up instinctively when attending the scene.

Judge Samantha Cohen told Colley: “On June 25, 2020 you acted in an aggressive and threatening manner.

“You took out a hammer having gotten on the back of a motorbike and brandished it, waving it in the air.

“That sort of behaviour is frightening to the people it’s directed at, and frightening to the children that were watching and potentially frightening to the public who didn’t know what was going on.

“That sort of behaviour makes people fearful. It makes them think, perhaps correctly, that you are a violent yob.”

Colley received a four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. He must also complete a total of 70 hours of unpaid work.

 

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