Businessman jailed for four years after breaking burglar’s back as he tried to steal quad bikes
Defendant and accomplice discovered three men trying to steal quad bikes from his compoundArthur Wilkinson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he attacked Andrew PughWilkinson drove injured would-be burglar to hospital and claimed he had discovered him wounded



16:11 GMT, 4 December 2012

Arthur Wilkinson, 52, attacked Mr Pugh

Arthur Wilkinson, 52, attacked Mr Pugh

A man who brutally attacked a would-be burglar leaving him with a broken back has been jailed for four years.

Arthur Wilkinson and an accomplice beat Stephen Pugh when they discovered him and two other men trying to steal quad bikes from the defendant's compound in Horden, near Peterlee, east Durham, in January.

Wilkinson’s barrister told the court that the defendant had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time, and how one of the men had pushed him to the ground.

Wilkinson, 52, drove wounded Mr Pugh
to the University Hospital of North Durham in Durham with serious
injuries, with the defendant claiming that he had found him in that

The 34-year-old
suffered a broken back bone, a double fracture to his leg, a smashed
nose, a fractured left arm and bruising all over his body.

The court heard how Mr Pugh was hit with a wooden bat as well as being kicked and punched.

Wilkinson, of Peterlee, denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but admitted it after a trial began in September.

Robert Adams, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court another man had been questioned about his involvement in the brutal attack but no charges were ever made against the man who was named by Wilkinson.

Mr Pugh has needed 13 operations since the attack at a yard owned by Wilkinson.

In mitigation, Stephen Constantine said a psychiatric report showed that Wilkinson was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after suffering a violent attack in 2007 which led to him having flashbacks.

Mr Constantine told the court how Wilkinson had been pushed to the ground by one of the three men he discovered trying to steal two quad bikes from his compound.

Wilkinson, 52, drove seriously injured Mr Pugh to the University Hospital of North Durham

Wilkinson, 52, drove seriously injured Mr Pugh to the University Hospital of North Durham

He said: 'This man was in a vulnerable position, physically and mentally, and that had a significant bearing on the way he then reacted.'

Judge George Moorhouse sentenced
Wilkinson for four years after taking into consideration his guilty plea
and the contents of his psychiatric report.

Mr Pugh was caught trying to steal a quad bike (file photo)

Mr Pugh was caught trying to steal a quad bike (file photo)

said: 'You entered a yard where you work to find three men in the
process of burgling your premises, that was a very traumatic experience
for you as evidenced by the psychiatric report.

does seem that the other man involved was the one using the baton and
was most likely to have caused the most extensive injuries.

'Having said that it was a joint enterprise and you must accept responsibility for your part in it.'

Mr Pugh is not facing any charges in relation to the case.

case follows that of Daniel Mansell, 33, and Joshua O'Gorman, 27, who
sentenced to four years in prison following a masked raid on the cottage
in Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Their victims, Andy and Tracey Ferrie, were arrested after Mr Ferrie opened fire on the pair during the midnight break-in.

homeowners were held on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and
spent 40 hours in custody before prosecutors decided they had acted in
‘reasonable self-defence’ and lifted the threat of charges.

Cannabis addict Mansell was shot in the right hand while O’Gorman was shot in the face during the incident in September.

At the sentencing in September, Judge Judge Michael Pert QC said burglars who break into country homes can expect to be shot at by their victims.

He spoke out after a lawyer demanded leniency for a career criminal who he claimed had been blasted with a shotgun in 'a form of summary justice'.

The judge replied: 'If you burgle a house in the country where the householder owns a legally held shotgun, that is the chance you take. You cannot come to court and ask for a lighter sentence because of it.'

The case reignited the debate over the rights of homeowners to defend their properties from intruders.