Hatfield pair sentenced after 'fighting in parking area'
PUBLISHED: 11:03 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:03 26 May 2017
Two Hatfield men have been sentenced following a fight in the street in which one of them had a knuckle duster and the other a machete.
Daniel Newbon, 34, and Jamie Gray, 22, had an argument in Stockbreach Close on July 17 last year, in which Gray threatened Newbon with a knuckle duster and Newbon took a machete from the back of his car and waved it.
Gray, of Roe Green Lane, Hatfield, had pleaded guilty to having a bicycle handle that had been adapted into a knuckle duster at his plea and trial preparation hearing, and Newbon, of Hillside, Hatfield, had pleaded guilty to possession of a machete the day before sentencing.
Alison Ginn, prosecuting in St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, May 16, said: “The matter’s come to light because at about 5pm on July 17, 2016 members of the public saw these two defendants fighting in a parking area outside Stockbreach Close.
“Daniel Newbon was shouting at Jamie Gray ‘Give me my money back’. Gray was seen with a knuckle duster and did seem to use it on Daniel Newbon.
“As a result Newbon went to a silver car and took out a machete which he seems to have swung at Jamie Gray. It was taken away from him by his girlfriend. Newbon ran away chased by Gray.”
Newbon was arrested on
July 21, and his DNA was found on the machete which was also engraved with his initials.
He was already serving for a previous conviction involving offensive weapons, while Gray had previous convictions relating to theft and drug offences.
Alex Matthews, mitigating for Gray, said: “Of course Mr Gray realises these matters are serious and weapons should not be on the streets, and acknowledges that he is the aggressor.
“This young man has self-referred to anger management classes. He’s completed a course; there are 13 sessions and he could have done one with 10 sessions but asked for a longer one.
“He noted that it’s educated him in how to be passive rather than confront matters. He recognises that it’s a process and he’s moved on a certain degree.”
Andrew Kerry, mitigating for Newbon, asked Recorder Kainth, who was sentencing, to consider the circumstances of the altercation.
He said: “What the mobile phone footage shows is what Mr Gray accepts is him being the aggressor and chasing after Mr Newbon and hitting him and grabbing him, which leads to Mr Newbon’s shirt being removed from his shoulders.
“Mr Newbon goes into the car and picks up the machete and then takes that towards Mr Gray and brandishes it - no more than that. He doesn’t threaten with it as such. He brandishes it in self-defence.”
Mr Kerry explained that the blade was in the car as Newbon had been chopping up tree branches in his grandmother’s garden, and he had taped it up for safety.
Sentencing Newbon, Recorder Kainth said: “You were not the one who initially took out a weapon, but taking a machete out even momentarily is, as you know, unacceptable, because you have three convictions for possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon.
“I acknowledge the blade was wrapped up and it was only waved momentarily before your girlfriend got her hands on it.”
Taking into account Gray’s early guilty plea, Recorder Kainth said: “You’re 22 years old. It’s time to grow up and take responsibility with regards to your own actions. You had the knuckle duster on your person for self-protection knowing full well that keeping an item of that type would bring you in confrontation with the law, especially when you took it out and waved it around.”
Newbon was sentenced to six months in prison, while Gray was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.