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Man who launched ‘unprovoked’ and ‘ferocious’ street attack on dog-walker jailed for more than three years

The unprovoked attack on a dog-walker in his 60s in Rotherham left him covered in blood

A man has been jailed for more than three years after he launched a ‘ferocious attack’ on a dog-walker.

Andrew Houghton, 30, had been bothering an ex-partner when he turned on a man walking his dog and unleashed a vicious assault.

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Houghton, who was already in jail for another matter now has a 10-year sentence to serve.

Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court, the dog-walker had tried to avoid the defendant but Houghton said something and attacked him and the next thing he knew was waking up covered in blood.

Houghton’s former partner stated Houghton had been aggressive and had been accusing her of sleeping with others before he punched the dog-walker to the ground and kicked him.

Describing the incident on Bawtry Road, Wickersley, Rotherham, Mr Goldsack said: “She screamed for the defendant to stop and she described feeling sick at what she was witnessing and she thought the attack was so violent that if she tried to intervene she would get injured. She said she was petrified at what she had seen.”

‘I struggle to understand why this happened’

The victim, aged in his 60s, suffered an ear injury and deterioration to an existing eye condition along with such crippling anxiety that he has not been able to keep his dog because he no longer feels safe out walking.

He stated: “I struggle to understand why this happened. It was over nothing and for nothing and this is what I struggle with. I worry this could happen again to me or to someone else.”

Houghton, who has previous convictions and is currently serving a custodial sentence at HMP Lindholme, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent after the incident on December 22, 2018.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Houghton: “There was a completely unprovoked attack upon him. At first you punched him to the face. This caused him to go to the ground.

"The attack continued. While he was on the ground, lying there utterly defenceless, you kicked him repeatedly. The episode lasted about one minute. It was a ferocious attack. The consequences for him have been extremely serious.”

Judge Richardson sentenced Houghton to three years and 297 days of custody to allow for and to combine with a previously imposed prison sentence from Nottingham Crown Court for other matters which now means the defendant is serving a 10-year custodial sentence.

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