Kidderminster man attacked great-uncle in street

BAD feeling between families led to a 22-year-old man attacking his great-uncle in Blackwell Street, Kidderminster, after they had both been drinking.

Michael Downs knocked Michael Griffin to the floor in a fall which fractured his hip. He also tried to gouge Mr Griffin's eyes.

When Downs pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm, prosecutor Adam Western said the Downs family held Mr Griffin responsible for the suicide of Mr Downs senior in 2001.

Downs, of Adams Court, Greenhill, Kidderminster, was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work. A restraining order was made preventing him contacting Mr Griffin for five years.

Mr Western said the prosecution accepted that during the assault, on November 16 last year, Downs had not kicked Mr Griffin as he lay on the floor but he had scratched him in the face and gouged his eyes, which needed hospital treatment.

The pair had met after drinking an estimated seven pints, said Abigail Nixon, defending, and the aggression followed Mr Griffin winking and flashing a V-sign. The incident was all over in a minute.

She suggested that Mr Griffin had been the subject of a vendetta by the Downs family, who felt he was responsible for the death of the defendant's father. There had been verbal abuse between the families for years.

Judge Michael Cullum said Downs had been provoked by the V-sign and wink but had the chance to keep out of the way. There had been an obvious history between the families but he urged them to put any feud behind them.

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