Friends armed with weapons beat fellow tenant at Chesterfield flats

A fight between tenants armed with weapons at flats in Old Whittington spilled into the street as shocked neighbours looked on, a court heard.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:03 pm

During the chaotic scenes friends Anthony Smith, 31, and Neil Cope, 46, were seen beating their victim on the flats’ communal garden with a mop handle and a metal exercise bar.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how the fight broke out on High Street on January 13 when the pair’s victim Terry Frost appeared at Cope’s door wielding a metal bar.

Smith and Cope were drinking and listening to music at Cope’s groundfloor flat when his fellow tenant knocked at the door.

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Anthony Smith, 31, and Neil Cope, 46, were seen beating their victim on the flats’ communal garden with a mop handle and a metal exercise bar
Anthony Smith, 31, and Neil Cope, 46, were seen beating their victim on the flats’ communal garden with a mop handle and a metal exercise bar

Prosecutor Bill Taylor described how as Cope opened the door Frost “lunged” at him and a scuffle ensued.

Smith then picked up a metal exercise bar and “tried to hit Frost in order to separate the two”, said Mr Taylor.

The court heard neighbours outside watched all three men “fighting together and armed”.

However he added the brawl “developed into a situation where Mr Frost was completely overpowered by the two defendants who continued with the attack”.

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Once the assault had come to an end Frost was left “blood drawn to his face” and “strike marks” across his back.

Solicitors for Smith and Cope told the court both men accepted the beating had gone far beyond what began as self-defence.

David Gittins said Cope, who had a “history of violence” on his record, had reported the incident to police “immediately”.

He described how ex-serviceman Cope had a PTSD diagnosis when Frost had appeared at his door “with a weapon”.

Julie Page said Smith, who had also appeared before magistrates for violence matters previously, was “bitterly disappointed” to find himself before the courts.

Sentencing both men a magistrate told Smith his record was “appalling”.

Addressing Cope he said: “The affray on your record does bother us. You need to be punished but we believe you also require some help and rehabilitation.”

Smith, of Station Road, Brimington, admitted ABH and his case was sent to Derby Crown Court for sentence.

Cope, of Barker Street, Huthwaite, also admitted ABH. His case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

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