Bury St Edmunds man ‘saw red’ before striking with spade

Court report
Court report

A Bury St Edmunds man who ‘saw red’ before grabbing a spade and unleashing a ‘salvo of blows’ on his victim has been jailed for a year.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Friday that John Fuge had gone beyond what could be considered reasonable self- defence when he grabbed a spade and used it to rain down a ‘salvo of blows’ on a man he had been arguing with.

Fuge, 46, of Avondale Walk, Bury, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Richard Florian.

Prosecuting, Andrew Jackson said Mr Florian was with Fuge’s former partner when they encountered him on December 20 last year.

An argument broke out during which Mr Florian allegedly struck Fuge on the arm and head with a spade.

Fuge managed to grab the spade and inflicted a series of blows on Mr Florian’s head, said Mr Jackson.

Fuge, who had been drinking, then went to sleep on a sofa, where he was found when paramedics and police officers arrived following an emergency call.

Mr Florian was taken to West Suffolk Hospital where he was treated for facial and head lacerations, swelling around his left eye and the loss of a tooth, said Mr Jackson.

When interviewed, Fuge – who has 34 previous convictions for 65 offences, including violence – said: “He hit me over the head with the spade. What would you do? I took it off him and hit him in the face.”

In mitigation, Stephen Dyble said the attack had lacked premeditation and involved an element of provocation.

He said: “There is no suggestion that any thought went into this incident. It was spontaneous and he just erupted.”

Mr Dyble told the court Fuge had ‘seen red’ when Mr Florian allegedly struck him with the spade and went on to deliver a ‘salvo of blows’.

Recorder Joseph Boothby told Fuge: “You gave Mr Florian a severe beating with a spade, leaving a scene of carnage at this house.

“This was disgusting behaviour and you have an incorrigible history of drunkenness and violence.”