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4/15/2003 3:10am,

South Devon Herald Express, UK -

Mar 24, 2003

A Paignton man who went round the to the home of his former girlfriend and knocked her new partner unconscious has been jailed for six months. Richard Milner, 32, was armed with a martial arts numbchuck with which he struck Paul Evans on the arm and the head causing him to fall to the ground unconscious, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Gavin Collett said Mr Evans had split up from Deborah Brown in 2001 after a seven-year relationship. They resumed their relationship in 2002. In the meantime Milner had gone out with Ms Brown and after she and Mr Evans got back together there were a number of telephone calls and text messages from Milner so she changed her phone. Mr Collett said one night in October Mr Evans was at home with the children and Ms Brown's sister when the telephone rang. At first there was silence at the end of the line but then Milner said he wanted to come round and see one of the children. Mr Evans refused that request because she had gone to bed. He put down the phone but moments later it rang again and Milner was demanding to see the little girl. Again Mr Evans refused and Milner then said he was coming round, said Mr Collett.

Then the doorbell rang and Mr Evans was confronted by Milner again demanding to see the girl. Mr Evans refused and Milner suddenly produced the weapon from behind his back and swung it at his victim. Mr Evans put up his arm to protect himself and was struck on the hand and head at the same time. He sustained a bump on his head and two cuts on his hand, the court heard. He crumpled to his knees and lost consciousness. When he came round he saw Milner heading for the house and in panic grabbed hold of him and a struggle ensued. Milner tried to hit him again with the weapon and it was then Mr Evans punched Milner and disarmed him. He then went inside and locked the door.

Mr Collett said Ms Brown's sister Beverley Goodwin who had witnessed the attack was absolutely terrified. When interviewed Milner accepted he went there with the weapon but denied ever assaulting Mr Evans. He pleaded not guilty to assault but was convicted by magistrates. He admitted possessing the offensive weapon. Defending Adam Vaitlingam said the incident had had a devastating effect on Milner who had lost his job because of the incident. He had now lost all motivation to re-integrate into the community and was suffering from depression. It was a rather disturbing picture of a man whose mental health had plummeted.

Passing sentence on Milner of Tallow Wood Close, Paignton Judge Paul Lambert said: "Your record shows that you simply can't leave other people alone. You used a dangerous weapon and struck him on the head knocking him out. Then you tried to hit him again. But I reduce dramatically the sentence in view of your mental health."

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