Stowmarket hammer attack sees pregnant girl get injured

Stowmarket Recreation Ground, Stowmarket
Stowmarket Recreation Ground, Stowmarket
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An ‘angry’ hammer-wielding man whose ‘reckless’ actions caused injury to a pregnant woman and friend will have to undergo alcohol treatment.

Brian Andrew Ahier pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating and possessing an offensive weapon in public at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Emma Howson, prosecuting, said on August 31 the two victims, Sophie Ward and 11-weeks pregnant Lianne Morris, were at the recreation ground in Stowmarket when they saw Ahier coming towards them with a hammer raised over his head.

He was accusing them of throwing bricks at his house and was described as ‘angry’ and ‘aggressive’.

Mrs Howson said: “He brought the hammer down with considerable force to hit either her (Sophie) or Lianne. She grabbed it to stop the blow. The defendant was shouting and they were wrestling and he knocked her to the ground, which in turn knocked over Lianne as well.”

Sophie, who received cuts to her right hand, thigh and knee, overpowered Ahier and threw the hammer into a bin.

Lianne experienced pain in her lift hip and lower back as a result of her fall and attended West Suffolk Hospital to check for any complications with her pregnancy, of which there were none.

In mitigation, Claire Lockwood said Ahier had been having ‘a lot of trouble’ with missiles - in the form of bricks and apples - being thrown at his home, which backs on to the recreation ground.

She said after hearing a loud bang and having consumed alcohol, he confronted the girls to see if they were involved. She said he did not remember having the hammer above his head and had not pushed either girl deliberately but accepted his ‘reckless’ actions caused Lianne to fall and that Sophie had fallen during their ‘tussle over the hammer’.

Ahier, 27, of Childer Road, Stowmarket, received a 12 month community order with supervision and alcohol treatment, as well as costs of £85 and a £60 victim surcharge.

No compensation was awarded to the victims.

Magistrates ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the hammer.