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Man launched 'ferocious' attack on Hilperton woman while high on cannabis
2:26pm Tuesday 30th April 2013 in Trowbridge
A man who broke into a neighbour's house then assaulted her in the street while in a fit of cannabis induced psychoactive state has been jailed for a year.
Jonathan Berry launched the 'ferocious' attack in Fairwood Close, Hilperton, after days of smoking the drug to relieve stress.
The 46-year-old left Cheryl Kimber with a fractured coccyx and broken nose as well as badly bruised jaw and blood in her kidneys.
He initially tried to say he was not guilty by way of insanity but had to admit what he had done at Swindon Crown Court on Friday after medical reports didn't support his pleas.
Hannah Squire, prosecuting, said Miss Kimber lives alone next door to Berry who she knows through his partner, Julie Jones, as she sometimes went on dog walks with her.
At about 7.20pm on Friday, June 1 last year she received a phone call from Miss Jones saying 'Don't let him in, don't open the door to him'.
Not knowing what she was talking about she went out of the room she was in to find Berry laying across her landing floor which frightened the life out of her.
He told her his ex-wife had broken his leg and he needed to get to hospital and then hit her when she said she didn't know what he was talking about.
She went to get the phone and realised he had gone, but noticed her car keys were missing so went outside after him.
He then grabbed her round the neck and got her in a headlock before punching her twice with full force to the face.
She started screaming at the pain from the 'venomous' blows and put her hands up to protect herself but he continued punching her to the neck.
After landing countless punches he took her by the shoulder and threw her to the pavement, where she landed on the tarmac drive in a sitting position.
Other neighbours and Miss Jones then arrived to drag him away from her before the police and ambulance got to the scene.
Berry, who gave the court an address in The Old Maltings, Oakhill, Bath, admitted actual bodily harm and burglary.
Alex Daymond, defending, said his client was going through a psychotic episode at the time of the incident and could remember little about it.
He said he was a hard working man and had no previous convictions, making the incident out of character, and urged the court not to jail him.
"He clearly acted in a way that was wholly out of his control," he said.
"At the time of committing the offence the defendant was suffering from a mental disease. It was an acute transient psychotic disorder.
"I accept, as does Mr Berry, that is was brought about by the use of cannabis in the days leading up to it."
On the day of the offences he said his client had not taken any drugs or been drinking, but it was brought on by his usage over the previous days.
"He has recognised what triggered the incident: he had been under a lot stress at the time. He is going to have to learn to deal with that a lot better in the future."
Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said "You were in a cannabis induced psychotic state. You went to your neighbour's: you went into her house.
"Unbeknown to her at that point you took some car keys. She remonstrated with you outside and you attacked her and that attack was prolonged and ferocious. She was terrified and suffered great discomfort.
"Over the years you have been a heavy user of cannabis and you have drunk heavily. You have no one to blame but yourself."