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Attacker Connor Patterson uses towel rail and foot to break bones in attack on landlord Mark Bushell at Folkestone home

By Peter Barnett

A Folkestone man was left with three broken bones after an unprovoked attack from one of his lodgers.

Victim Mark Bushell, 54, was left nursing a broken eye socket, nose and cheek during the sustained attack in February.

During the beating, in which Connor Patterson used a broken towel rail and his foot as weapons, Mr Bushell feared he was going to die.

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

But a judge at Canterbury Crown Court heard how the two men had been friends for a year-and-a-half prior to the incident in Samian Crescent in February.

Despite the serious injuries, the 22-year-old former DIY shop worker was only charged with assaulting Mr Bushell causing him actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for a year after admitting assault and causing criminal damage to a bathroom lock.

Now Judge Simon James has ordered the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers to write to the victim to explain their decision only to charge a lesser offence.

Prosecutor Kate Ryle said Patterson, who has since moved to Tyne and Wear, was one of two men lodging with Mr Bushell.

On Sunday February 23, Mr Bushell and Patterson had gone out for a drink and returned in the evening “in good humour”.

She said as Mr Bushell prepared dinner, Patterson suddenly launched an unprovoked attack punching him several times to his head.

Judge Simon James told Nina Hughes she was "testing his patience"
Judge Simon James told Nina Hughes she was "testing his patience"

As the victim fled into another room his attacker continued with “a barrage of blows and kicks” as Mr Bushell tried to shield himself.

The prosecutor added: “The attack then just suddenly stopped and Patterson went upstairs and brought down the other lodger, pointed at Mr Bushell and said: ‘Look what I have done!’

“He then started laying into Mr Bushell again after picking up a glass jar. This time the victim went upstairs and locked himself in the bathroom.

“Patterson broke the lock and came hurtling in, knocking Mr Bushell into the bath and continued punching.

He was screaming he was going to kill Mr Bushell and was holding a wooden towel rail, “ she added.

The victim then pleaded with Patterson not to kill him but was struck twice over the head with the piece of wood – before again stopping and apologising for the attack.

“Patterson broke the lock and came hurtling in, knocking Mr Bushell into the bath and continued punching" - Kate Ryle

James Howard, defending, said the incident was “quite bizarre” and Patterson, who comes from Dover, couldn’t explain his behaviour.

He said that Patterson was aware that Mr Bushell was “sexually attracted” towards him and because they often went out together were perceived as a couple.

“They were seen regularly together and he thinks that the reason he became so angry may have been triggered by this underlying flickering of the curtain whenever they went out together.

“He is extremely ashamed for what he has done and is extremely remorseful. He wants to meet Mr Bushell and apologise.

The judge ordered Patterson to stay away from Mr Bushell and his home for five years – unless the victim agrees to a meeting.

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