A former wrestler carried out a vicious crowbar attack on a man he mistook for a burglar when the victim went into his garden in search of his dog.
Rugby league referee Nigel Burrow “saw red” when he went to confront teacher Darren Branscombe after seeing him outside his home looking for his Yorkshire terrier in the early hours of the morning.
Leeds Crown Court heard Burrow’s house, in Castleford, had been broken into on six occasions in the two months leading up to the incident on August 14 this year.
Mr Branscombe was out looking for his pet at 12.45am, when he was confronted by Burrow, 48, who was carrying the weapon. Burrow struck him repeatedly about the body and legs. The victim managed to get to his feet and got away from the area but was attacked again a short time later.
Burrow, of Wood Lane, Castleford, pleaded guilty to two offences of assault and possessing an offensive weapon. He was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 100 hours unpaid work.
Kate Batty, mitigating, said Burrow’s home had been targeted six times by burglars in the weeks before the incident. Other homes in the area had also been burgled and neighbours had installed a CCTV system.