View Full Version : Hammer attack accused escapes prison

22-Mar-13, 17:49
Exceptional circumstances argues solicitor for ex-Afghanistan soldier

AN EX SOLDIER, who served in Afghanistan and “helped ensure we can sleep safely”, escaped a prison sentence for a hammer attack.
Sheriff Andrew Berry told Kevin Stewart, 29, that any case where a person sought to take the law into their own hands must always be viewed seriously by the courts and he had considered a custodial sentence.

However, he added that taking everything in reports, into consideration he was persuaded to order Stewart, who suffers was post traumatic stress disorder, to carry out 300 hours of unpaid community service..

Offshore worker Stewart, of Nylvek, Newton Hill, on the outskirts of Wick, admitted a charge of assault, on indictment.
Wick Sheriff Court heard that Stewart , 29, had a score to settle with his former stepson, Darren Stewart, and, along with a companion, Alexander Green, paid him a visit on January 29, last year. They entered Darren Stewart’s home in Macrae Street, Wick, where a party was in progress, uninvited, and confronted him in the living room.

Kevin Stewart struck Darren Stewart once with the hammer, and punched him a few times before leaving with Green.

Darren Stewart was taken to hospital with a deep cut on the left hand side of his face which required stitches. He also sustained a cut on the side of one cheek and bruising, and sustained a broken finger.

The court heard the background to the hammer attack. Kevin Stewart and Darren Stewart’s mother had married some years ago but separated, on acrimonious terms so far as she and her son were concerned. This had prompted an unwelcome response from Darren Stewart, who, it was alleged, embarked on a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation against Kevin Stewart’s mother.

Matters came to a head when she was attacked in the street, and punched while walking her dog with her husband, and knocked to the ground.
Solicitor George Mathers said that the mother managed to stumble home, locked the door and could not face going out. The incident was reported to the police who were unable to take any action in the absence of corroboration.

Mr Mathers said that Kevin Stewart, on seeing the state his mother was in, “simply over-reacted”. There was no justification in law, for the provocation leading to the assault but the solicitor went on: “I think that all of us can appreciate his feelings at that time and these were exacerbated by his post traumatic stress disorder. If something like this had happened to one of our mothers, who’s to say how we would react.”

The accused had taken some drink the following day and met Alexander Green who agreed to accompany him in the visit to Darren Stewart’s home.
Mr Matherssaid that Stewart took the hammer, not as a weapon, but to gain entry if the door was locked.

The solicitor said: “He is a big strong man and did not need a weapon to visit such as a coward and a bully like Darren Stewart and I have no hesitation in calling him that.”

Kevin Stewart claimed that Darren Stewart had reached for a knife and it was at that point that the accused struck him with the hammer. Appealing for a non-custodial sentence, Mr Mathers said that there were “exceptional circumstances”. The accused was a hard-working decent man who had been assessed as being a low risk so far as re-offending was concerned and of no risk to the general public.

Turning to Kevin Stewart’s service record in Afghanistan, Mr Mathers added: “It can be said that the service given by him and others, makes us sleep peacefully and securely in our beds at night. We owe him respect and a debt of gratitude.”

Green, 29, of Gunn's Terrace, Wick, admitted a “side show” incident in which he punched one of the party guests. He was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work.