Hatfield man jailed for weightlifting bar assault

PUBLISHED: 13:07 10 September 2011


A SUPERMARKET worker who had been falsely accused of pinching a 16-year-old girl’s bottom was hit on the head with a weightlifting bar.

Stanley Chisenwa was attacked from behind by Matthew Fathers, 23, who had been told the assistant had touched his teenage friend at the self-service checkout at Asda in Hatfield.

He suffered a five centimetre wound that needed stitches at the QE2 Hospital, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said that at the checkout the girl complained to Mr Chisenwa: “How can you do that to me?”, saying he had pinched her bottom.

But the store’s CCTV showed that Mr Chisenwa had bumped into the girl when he had turned around after helping another customer at the checkout.

Mr Dunne said: “The security officer watched the incident on CCTV and it showed Mr Chiswena had innocently bumped into her and had not pinched her bottom.

“In the meantime the young woman had sent a text to Fathers and repeated the claim. About an hour-and-a-half later, Fathers came into Asda carrying a bottle of beer and weights bar.

“He came up behind Mr Chisenwa and hit him from behind once on the back of the head, using the metal bar.”

The store’s security staff detained Fathers and the police were called.

He said: “Listen – he pinched her bum. She is a young girl – you can understand why I did it.”

Mr Dunne said: “He was volatile, loud and fired up.”

When questioned, Fathers said the text the girl sent had made him angry. He said he was armed with the weightlifting bar because he planned to go to the park to lift some weights.

Fathers, of Heathcote Avenue, Hatfield, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Mr Chisenwa on June 27 this year. He also admitted having an offensive weapon.

Defence barrister David Jones said Fathers pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had admitted the offence to the police.

Recorder Brian Argyle jailed him for 14 months and ordered the weightlifting bar be forfeited, saying: “This was a very serious offence. It was pre-meditated.

“You went to the shop armed with a weapon and hit him from behind.”

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