South Tyneside man smashed car windscreen with baseball bat amid fears for grandson

A worried dad fearing for the safety of his grandson used a baseball bat to smash an alleged aggressor’s windscreen.

Steven Bell, 50, of Ashfield, Jarrow, raced to his son’s nearby home after getting a panicked call from him that a gang were outside, a court heard.

During the incident, on Sunday, October 25, his son was at work but his girlfriend was inside their house with their child.

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Bell saw red after one of the men allegedly hit him on the head and retaliated by attacking the van, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court. The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Anne Mitchell said: “The defendant has asked if they had a problem and there is a scuffle.

“He produced a baseball bat and smashed the windscreen, causing it to shatter, with about £400 of damage.”

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Michelle Stonley, defending, said Bell had been out of trouble since 2002 and accepted he should have called police with his concerns.

She added: “This is very out of character for him, although he does have a criminal damage conviction from 1991.

“You may think to yourself, why would a man of 50 years old, who has not been before the courts since 2002, appear in court.

“He tells me that he received a panicked call from his son who was unable to leave work, to go to his home where his child and girlfriend were.

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“He could hear the panic in his son’s voice, and he went around.

“Apparently the girlfriend had seen that a van had turned up outside and there were people there and she didn’t know what was going on.

“Mr Bell was worried for the safety of his grandson. He says that he was confronted by a male and was hit over the head by the male.

“Out of anger and frustration, he damaged the windscreen of the van with a baseball bat.”

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Bell pleaded guilty to using abusive, insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence and causing criminal damage.

His case was adjourned for reports and he will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, March 30.

Magistrates indicated they were looking at a community based punishment.

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