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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Ulverston attack 'case of mistaken identity'

A CASE of mistaken identity led a man to floor a stranger and then kick him while he was on the ground, a court heard.

Martin Kell mistook a fellow pub-goer for someone who had insulted him on a previous occasion, Furness Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday.

The 58-year-old, of The Ellers, Ulverston, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the incident on May 27.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, told the court Kell had been at the Stan Laurel Inn in Ulverston since 6.30pm and had drunk around five pints prior to the incident.

His victim, James Green, arrived at around 9.30pm to attend a chess evening with his son.

Kell shouted an offensive name at Mr Green before punching him to the side of the face, the court heard. He then kicked him on the shin while he was lying on the ground and continued to shout obscenities, before being restrained by the victim’s son.

A barmaid who witnessed the incident said the defendant kicked Mr Green more than once during the attack, which left her shocked and scared.

Mrs Hine said: “Mr Green says it was totally unprovoked, that he has seen Mr Kell in the past but has never spoke to him. It’s a case of mistaken identity.”

Mr Graham Jackson, defending, told the court Kell has no previous convictions and was shocked by his own behaviour.

He explained the defendant has schizophrenia and had forgotten to take his medication on the day of the incident. He feared this, mixed with the drink, may have led to him to lose control and act “completely out of character”.

Mr Jackson said: “He was aware that he had been abused by someone a week or so before this incident and obviously he now accepts that it wasn’t the person that he thought.”

The case was adjourned until Tuesday June 24 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

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