‘Drug debt’ attackers jailed

Duncan Chaney

Mark Ledsome

Michael Hughes

First published in News
Last updated
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THREE men who threatened and attacked a man in his Salisbury home have been sent to prison.

Michael Hughes, 28, and 39-yearold Mark Ledsome pleaded guilty to theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Winchester Crown Court on Friday. Duncan Chaney, 34, also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecuting, Frank Abbott said Hughes and Ledsome went to a house in Exeter Street on July 30 last year and banged on the door. The two men inside barricaded the door, but Hughes and Ledsome forced their way in and demanded money.

Mr Abbott said: “There’s some intelligence that this incident involved a drug debt but the witness would not say.”

Hughes had a catapult and is alleged to have said: “I will shoot you in the head.”

The men searched the flat for money and found a wallet hidden behind a washing machine, which the victim said had £900 in it.

Chaney arrived and used an exercise bar to hit one of the victims.

Ledsome stopped him from using the bar again but they punched and kicked the victim.

The man was left with injuries to his eye, head, hands and back.

Hughes was also involved in a burglary on April 18, 2012 when he, with others, went to a house in Glyndebourne Close.

The man they were looking for wasn’t home, but the pair threatened his 15-year-old daughter with one saying they would “slash her” and burn the flat down if she didn’t tell them where the money was. They took a laptop, rucksack, wallet and mobile phone.

All three men have previous convictions – Judge Andrew Barnett said Chaney’s 79 court appearances were “an appalling record” and Hughes was on bail for the 2012 incident when he committed the second.

Defending Hughes, Michael Hall said the 28-year-old, of Ostock Road, Salisbury, turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with bereavement but had made great progress in the last two years. He said Hughes was not the leader in the 2012 incident and had returned the laptop the following day and handed himself in to police before they were looking for him.

Nick Cotter said Ledsome has battled heroin addiction since he was 17 and had kicked the habit but relapsed following a family death last year.

He said: “He was granted bail to a hostel in Bristol but made the choice to go back to custody because he knew there were people in the hostel selling drugs...”

Defending Chaney, of Rowan Close, Salisbury, Mark Raffell said: “It wasn’t a sustained attack.

“He was drunk and turned up with a can of Special Brew. He’s now clean of drugs and he wants to get a job.”

Chaney and Ledsome were sentenced to 12 months in prison, Hughes will serve 16 months.

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