Grieving man pleads guilty to drunken rampage

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A BEREAVED man has admitted going on a drunken rampage with a hammer after he thought people were laughing at him following the tragic death of his father who was killed in a car accident.

Paul Maplesden, of Belmont Road, had been drinking heavily after identifying his father’s body following the tragedy in Battle Road, St Leonards, last month.

Hastings Magistrates Court heard this week how the unemployed 21-year-old attacked one man and then started smashing up property in a garden with a hammer as he made his way home in the evening.

His father Stuart Maplesen, 49, was killed as he got out of a taxi outside his home around 5.40am on September 18.

In court, magistrates were told Maplesden was on his way home around 6pm the day after the tragedy when he claimed to hear people laughing at him.

Jeremy King, prosecuting, said: “The complainant Roy Waters was visiting his friend Carla Cook who was having a barbecue. Mr Water’s son Rob was present.

“They were in the garden when the defendant walked through a side path and began shouting and swearing. He was saying he was going to hit Rob.

“Mr Waters said ‘You’re not going to hit my son’, and there was an altercation between him and Maplesden.

“Mr Waters was frightened by what was going on and then went inside. While inside he could hear noise and smashing going on in the garden.

“Then there was silence and Mr Waters went outside. He then saw Maplesden with a hammer and he quickly disarmed him before the police arrived.

“A brick had been thrown through the conservatory window.

“Mr Waters sustained a bruised left cheek and a cut to his left thumb.

“In police interview Maplesden said he was drunk at the time when he saw Rob Waters who he thought was laughing at him.

“He said he went to the gates and asked ‘What are you laughing at?’ and he accepts the injuries caused to Ray Waters.”

Maplesden pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating and criminal damage. The court heard he had 10 previous convictions for 13 offences including battery on October 14 last year.

Kim Goodall, defending, said: “The defendant’s father was killed in a car accident and he had gone to the chapel of rest. He came home and had been drinking.

“When he came home he thought those in the garden were laughing at him.

“He had been struggling to recover from the death. He had been to identify his father which is not a nice thing for anyone to have to do, especially at his age.”

Magistrates gave Maplesden a nine-month suspended sentence and a supervision order which involved attending an alcohol treatment course.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation each to Carla Cook and Raymond Waters.