Man found guilty of knocking mobility scooter rider to the ground in Brandon

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Court report
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A man has been convicted of knocking a mobility scooter rider to the ground and inflicting a broken shoulder.

Joaquim Cardoso, 62, denied causing grievous bodily harm, telling police that he had been acting in self defence.

But today, Cardoso, of St Mary’s Square, Newmarket, was found guilty after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The prosecution alleged that the attack took place in Market Hill, Brandon, in the late afternoon of September 27 last year.

Cardoso was alleged to have run up to a mobility scooter being ridden by 73-year-old Peter Shea before knocking him to the ground and then hitting him while he was on the ground.

The court heard that the alleged victim, Peter Shea, had died from unrelated causes since the incident on September 27 last year.

Prosecuting, Andrew Shaw said that a few days earlier Cardoso had apparently been involved in the theft of a wallet at The Flintknappers pub in Brandon which, although police were notified, was resolved with £80 being paid to the owner of the wallet.

On September 27, CCTV images showed Mr Shea driving his mobility scooter towards a nearby pedestrian crossing, said Mr Shaw.

A verbal exchange between Mr Shea and Cardoso included Cardoso being called a thief.

The jury heard from witnesses who said they saw Cardoso running towards Mr Shea and shouting aggressively.

Mr Shea appeared to be surprised, said teacher James Mehan who was waiting to cross the road in Market Square.

Mr Mehan said: “He turned round. He reacted very defensively. He saw this man coming towards him.

“He definitely seemed as if he thought something as going to happen to him.”

The prosecution claimed Cardoso knocked Mr Shea to the ground with a single “wild punch” and then began hitting him while he was on the ground until the attack stopped when another passer by intervened.

David Murfitt told the jury how he pulled Cardoso off Mr Shea, who appeared to be unconscious, before police and a paramedic arrived at the scene.

While Mr Shea, who the court heard had been using a mobility scooter for about six months, had not done anything threatening he had made remarks to Cardoso before the attack, said Mr Murfitt.

Following his arrest, Cardoso told police that he had not intended to injure Mr Shea and only wanted to talk to him.

Giving evidence, Cardoso said he had previously reported comments made by customers at The Flintknappers pub that he was “a thief” to the police.

The comments had upset him, he said.

While admitting that he had run across Market Square to where Mr Shea was waiting to cross the road, Cardoso said he had not deliberately struck him or pushed him to the ground.

Cardoso claimed that Mr Shea had swung a punch at him and he had struck out only in lawful self defence.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict this morning.

Cardoso was released on bail and is due to be sentenced on August 7.