Young father sentenced to jail at Dorchester Crown Court after attack on mechanic

JAILED: Joe Porter

JAILED: Joe Porter

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A YOUNG father who assaulted a mechanic in his own home has been jailed for more than a year.

Joe Harvey Porter, also known as Joe Berryman, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm on James Smith.

He was convicted following a trial at Dorchester Crown Court last month.

Jurors in the trial heard how Mr Smith had agreed to do some work on a car for 23-year-old Porter and the defendant had gone round to the garage owner’s then home in Bradford Road, Weymouth, on April 25 to discuss the matter.

Mr Smith told the jury that he had let Porter in and was sitting watching television when all of the sudden he was struck by a blow to the left side of his face.

He suffered a fracture to the malar bone beneath his eye socket as a result of the blow.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson said at Porter’s sentencing hearing that the incident had severely impacted on Mr Smith, causing him to be off work for several weeks and contributing to the loss of his business. He read from a victim impact statement made by Mr Smith: “My life has been destroyed, I have not been able to work, I have lost my home and my business. This is mainly because I can’t sleep at night, the slightest noise makes me wake up.”

The court was told that Porter, of Chickerell Road, Weymouth, had 13 convictions for 36 offences, including theft, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving.

Tim Shorter, mitigating, said the defendant had significantly reduced his offending over the last three years and was trying to take on more responsibility for his two children. He added that the assault had involved just a single blow and a ‘lack of pre-meditation’.

As he sentenced Porter, Judge Roger Jarvis told the defendant: “This offence for which I have to sentence you today was a nasty assault. Your victim was in his own home and he let you in as a guest. He had no reason to fear any violence from you when you visited him. He was simply sitting in how own home watching television.

“I’m quite sure that you were angry because of what you felt about this commercial agreement relating to the vehicle – without any warning you stood up and struck him so forcefully that he suffered a fracture.”

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