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Window cleaner jailed for unprovoked attack

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 29, 2013

  • David Merrett pictured outside Truro Crown Court.

  • David Merrett leaving Truro Crown Court. Ref:TRJJ20130726D-001_C

A "VOLATILE" window cleaner from Falmouth who went "berserk" and attacked a man by kicking and punching him in the face has been jailed.

At Truro Crown Court on Friday, David Merrett, 45, of Trelawney Road, was jailed for 20 months for the unprovoked assault on 61-year-old Neil Drummond.

Ramsay Quaife, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said at 1.30pm on August 31 last year, shortly after Mr Drummond had undergone surgery for a detached retina, he was cleaning plaster from a window at a neighbour's house.

He was then approached by Merrett, who said to him 'you have lost me money'.

Merrett had been cleaning windows at that property for a number of years.

Mr Quaife said: "Mr Merrett approached Mr Drummond and said, 'Do you want a chinning?'.

"With that, he threw a punch towards Mr Drummond."

The victim said he would call the police, at which point, Mr Quaife said, the "atmosphere changed for the worse".

"Merrett simply went berserk," he said.

Merrett punched the victim, who fell to the ground where he was kicked and punched to the ribs, kidneys and face.

A taxi driver pulled over and intervened and Mr Drummond was taken to hospital with grazing to the lip, bruising and swelling to his temple and a dislocation of the lens in the eye which had been operated on. He has since had to have two further operations to repair the damage caused by Merrett.

Merrett was arrested later that day and made no comment when interviewed by police.

Mr Quaife added that Merrett had 20 previous convictions relating to 38 offences, of which 11 were related to violence.

Jeremy Leaning, defending Merrett, said he realised the attack was wrong and felt remorse.

He said: "He had a tendency to misread situations and at times react violently."

Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said Merrett was volatile and the attack had serious consequences.

He said: "Your anger and aggression caused him real physical distress and discomfort and inconvenience and you have heard that his family were distraught by what happened.

"You are a man with a record for violence. By my reckoning you have been given community orders and suspended sentences on five occasions in the last ten years."

Merrett was originally accused of wounding Mr Drummond with intent to do him grievous bodily harm but after doctors made a new statement about the extent of the injuries the charge was changed to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The window cleaner admitted the lesser charge just days before he was due to stand trial at Truro Crown Court.

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