A DELABOLE man accused of assault, who claimed his former neighbour and victim had bashed his own head against the pavement, has escaped prison – despite previously being jailed for the same offence.
Kenneth Gledhill, of The Sidings, Pengelly, left Henry Lejnieks' head and face a bloody mess after a confrontation in the street outside his home.
The 41-year-old, who is also known as Scouser Kenny, stood trial this week at Truro Crown Court where he denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm, saying that Mr Lejnieks had come running at him with his arms "swinging like an idiot" and he had only acted to stop the attack.
His defence included the claim that Mr Lejnieks' injuries – which included bruises, cuts and severe swelling to the head and face – were self-inflicted when Mr Lejnieks hit his own head on the pavement.
On Wednesday, the jury rejected his claims by returning a unanimous guilty verdict.
Iain White, for the prosecution, said bad feeling between the pair dated back to 2009 when they had lived next door to each other at The Sidings.
Mr White said Mr Lejnieks had complained about Gledhill to the housing association before deciding to move.
In 2011 Mr Lejnieks moved back to the village to be closer to his grandchildren and on October 18, he went to see Gledhill to 'clear the air'.
Mr White said Gledhill "completely overreacted" to the situation and attacked his former neighbour by kicking him, knocking him to the ground before repeatedly punching him.
Mr White said he was also seen to push his head down on to the concrete.
The jury was shown pictures of Mr Lejnieks which showed his bloody and severely swollen face.
On Thursday, when he appeared for sentencing, the court heard that in 2008, Gledhill was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for two and a half years.
That incident involved Gledhill knocking his former partner's tooth out while she was holding their five-year-old son.
Llewellyn Sellick, for the defence, said that since the assault on Mr Lejnieks, which was two years ago, there had been no repetition.
He said: "I have met him now on a number of occasions on none of which has he shown any signs of loss of temper towards me."
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said it was clear in his mind that the circumstances of this attack were completely different to the one on his partner and that Mr Lejnieks had been intent on confrontation.
Sentencing him to one year in prison suspended for two years, he said: "I have to sentence you, it seems to me, for excessive self-defence ... I want you to understand that you must control your anger."
Gledhill was ordered to take part in a 12-session anger management course.