Hammer thug jailed for Exmouth neighbour attack

PUBLISHED: 15:35 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:43 19 April 2017

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court

Exeter Crown Court. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exeter crown court

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Jason House, aged 35, of Beacon Lane, Exeter, admitted attacking a neighbour in Littleham, Exmouth.

A hammer wielding thug has been jailed for attacking a neighbour during an argument in an Exmouth street.

Jason House got out of his car with the hammer in his hand and was caught on CCTV as he smashed it into the knee of victim Vance Eaton.

The incident was caught on a CCTV camera which had been installed by another neighbour because of a history of foul mouthed anti-social behaviour by House’s girlfriend, Alex Humphreys.

Police had already been called by both sides in the neighbours’ dispute in Mountain Close, Exmouth, before the long running tensions flared into violence on September 11 last year.

House, aged 35, of Beacon Lane, Exeter, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon, and jumping bail and was jailed for 23 weeks by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

Humphreys, aged 23, now of Porter Grove, Cranbrook, admitted threatening neighbours in a second incident five days later, and was made subject of a community order and banned from Mountain Close by a restraining order at an earlier hearing.

Judge Mercer told House: “I am prepared to accept there was a degree of provocation towards you and your girlfriend in what was a two-way disgraceful incident.

“There was obviously nothing that would justify what you did, which involved arming yourself with a hammer which you took from your car and going towards the other group and striking Mr Eaton with it. That is a serious matter.”

Mr William Parkhill, prosecuting, said there was a background of tensions between Miss Humphreys, House, and neighbours in Mountain Close.

Miss Humphreys had called police and showed them mobile phone footage but officers took the view it did not disclose any offences.

One of the neighbours installed a CCTV camera at their home which captured the attack on Mr Eaton, although it was at the edge of the image.

Mr Parkhill said it showed House getting out of his car and approaching a group of neighbours including Mr Eaton and hitting him on the leg with the hammer.

The victim was left with a cut and bruising just above his knee but the injury was not serious enough to need hospital treatment.

Mr Stephen Nunn, defending, said House felt he had been provoked but accepts he over reacted.

He said he had failed to answer bail because he was looking after Miss Humphreys’ two Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs while she was remanded in custody awaiting sentence.

He could not find anyone else to look after the pets and remained on the run until she was freed last month, the court was told..

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