Ex-Welwyn Hatfield dustman left brain damaged by metal bar attack

PUBLISHED: 17:51 15 February 2011

Archant

A FORMER dustman was left with permanent brain damage after being hit with a metal bar in a row at his home.

The bar, which was from a weight-lifting frame, left a hole in the head of 42-year-old Terence Howard, who worked as a refuse collector for Welwyn Hatfield Council from April 1994 and then for the council’s contractors, Serco, from March 2006.

Part of the father-of-three’s brain ended up on the ground.

Luton Crown Court heard the injury left Mr Howard, who is a grandad, permanently and seriously disabled.

He cannot remember the attack, can no longer work and is cared for full time by his wife.

On Thursday his attacker Daniel Francis, 25, was convicted of causing of inflicting grievous bodily harm on March 23 last year.

He was cleared of the more serious charge of GBH with intent.

Francis, formerly of Gregson Close, Borehamwood, and now of Bedale Court, Chilwell, Nottingham, had gone round to Mr Howard’s home in Borehamwood after his former girlfriend had claimed that during a row some spit from Mr Howard had ended up on her face.

During a confrontation Francis hit Mr Howard twice with the bar, said prosecutor Michael Speak.

Francis claimed he had been acting in self defence.

Judge Marie Catterson remanded Francis in custody and told him: “I say straightaway you can expect a custodial sentence for this offence.”

Francis will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court next month.


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