A CARDIGAN man who carried out an attack that was so vicious that it gave him nightmares has been jailed on Friday (Jan 3) for three years and four months. John James Bell, aged 30, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to Richard Owen, a 33 year old carpenter, on August 1 last year. Swansea crown court heard that Mr Owen suffered a broken wrist and had been unable to work since the attack. Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said Mr Owen had been drinking in the Lamb public house in Cardigan. Bell walked in five minutes before he left and said he was trying to find a man called Johnson.
Mr Owen bought a takeaway meal and saw Bell sitting on a bench in Finch Square. He spoke aggressively to Mr Owen and then reached into a van and took hold of a three foot long metal pole. CCTV footage showed Bell hitting Mr Owen with the pole, and continuing the attack while he lay on the ground. Mr Owen needed an operation on his arm and doctors inserted a metal plate into his wrist. Bell, of Brynteg, Ferwig, Cardigan, was arrested a short while after the attack. His barrister, Janet Gedrych, said Bell had been attacked by a group of men in Cardigan several months earlier. He felt so threatened he had left the town but had returned to the area shortly before August 1.
However, he remained so frightened that a doctor had prescribed sedatives. Miss Gedrych said that did not explain the attack on Mr Owen, who had not threatened Bell, except that Bell was in such a state that he could feel threatened even when he was not. He bitterly regretted the assault and had suffered nightmares because of his own behaviour. Miss Gedrych added that although Bell had previous convictions for 55 offences none of them had been for violence. Judge Paul Thomas said the attack had been vicious, prolonged and in a public street. Judge Thomas said he accepted that Bell suffered from an irrational belief that people were out to get him but the attack on Mr Owen had been completely unprovoked. The attack, he added, had changed Mr Owen’s life and it was still not clear when he would be able to return to work.