Drunk man had no idea why he burst into stranger’s flat and attacked him

Graham Ford appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
Graham Ford appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

A man who burst into a flat to attack the occupant could not say why he did it.

Graham Ford’s victim had only lived in the flat for three weeks and did not know him, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Ford, 38, said he was too drunk to remember what he had done, and agreed he had no quarrel with his victim.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said the attack took place in the early hours of the morning.

He said: “The victim became aware of noises.

“At first, he thought was one or possibly two men trying to gain entry to his flat.

“The double glazed front door burst open, and the victim found himself behind an internal door as someone pushed against it.”

He added: “A fist than smashed through that door before the intruder left the property.”

Mr Anderson said Ford was identified as one of the intruders after his saliva was found on the internal door.

“The victim confirmed he had never heard of him,” said Mr Anderson.

He added: “Ford denied being involved, even after a police officer pointed out his saliva on the door was indicative of him being close to the door while shouting

“After conceding he must have been in the house, Ford said he must have thought someone else lived there.”

Ford, of Newcastle Road, South Shields, admitted use of violence to secure entry to premises and criminal damage.

Both offences happened on June 19.

Val Bell, defending, said: “Mr Ford can recall very little of what happened that day.

“He had been drinking very heavily, and cannot explain what happened.

“He doesn’t know the victim, so is at a genuine loss as to understand why he did what he did.

“Mr Ford does have a record, but there have been long gaps proving he can stay out of trouble.

“He is the devoted father of four children.”

The magistrates sentenced Ford to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to undertake 40 days of rehabilitation activity, and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Ford was also ordered to pay £250 costs and compensation.