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Whitstable builder John Doubleday guilty of assaulting Nigel Golding in money row

By James Rose

A builder has been found guilty of assaulting a man whom he claimed owed him money.

Margate Magistrates Court heard how Whitstable builder John Doubleday went beyond self-defence and punched 59-year-old Nigel Golding in the face several times after a dispute over the cost of building work on Saturday, October 24 last year.

Doubleday was found guilty of a second assault charge after returning to the same property in Longtye Drive to retrieve money he believed was owed to him on Monday November 2.

Whitstable builder John Doubleday
Whitstable builder John Doubleday

Doubleday, 57, of Grimthorpe Avenue, had visited Mr Golding at his mother's bungalow, where work to the roof and fascia had been completed but the men could not agree on the price for it.

Their 20-minute discussion turned into a fracas on the footpath at the side of the bungalow.

Mr Golding fell through the garden fence after one of the punches.

"Mr Doubleday admitted four or five blows, and with that we assert that his actions were reckless" - Chairman of the bench, Anthony Hodges

A paramedic drove him to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital, where it was confirmed that his nose was broken.

Nine days later, Mr Golding was working on the roof of his mother's property.

Doubleday's van pulled up outside at 3pm and Mr Golding got down from the ladder and ran around the back of the property to get inside the conservatory.

In pursuit, Doubleday reached towards the victim who shut his arm in the double conservatory doors.

Mr Golding shouted to his mother to call the police while he clamped the doors on the builder's arm.

Doubleday freed his arm and drove away from the bungalow, but was arrested at his home about two hours later on November 2.

Chairman of the bench Anthony Hodges said: "Mr Doubleday is a well-known builder in the town, and we have taken previous good character into account with our sentencing.

The inquest was held at Margate Magistrates Court
The inquest was held at Margate Magistrates Court

"We assert that Mr Doubleday’s actions on October 24 were not in self-defence and he was not in fear during the incident.

"There was a live dispute in relation to unresolved building costs.

"We heard inconclusive evidence about the number of times Mr Golding was hit but considered that Mr Doubleday gave evidence admitting four or five blows, and with that we assert that his actions were reckless."

Doubleday pleaded not guilty to both charges of assault by beating and was sentenced to 50 unpaid hours of community service, and told to pay court costs of £300, a £60 victim surcharge and £75 compensation to Mr Golding for his injuries.

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