‘Hopefully prison has a therapeutic effect on your drug use’, judge tells Beeston hammer attacker

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A man who attacked a neighbour with a hammer before repeatedly spitting in a police car has been given a prison sentence in the hope it has a “therapeutic effect” on his drug use.

Kristopher Hocker, 35, of Dewsbury Road, Beeston, assaulted a man before running away and hiding from police in an alleyway on May 16, 2022.

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During a sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court, the prosecuting barrister told the court there had been a “bit of trouble” between the defendant and the victim previously. Hocker walked up to the victim and “mumbled something” before producing a hammer and struck him to the head.

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Kristopher Hocker was sentenced to 18 months in prison.Kristopher Hocker was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Kristopher Hocker was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

A struggle took place between the two, when the victim asked Hocker “what his problem was”.

Hocker, who the court heard had numerous issues with drug abuse, then ran away with the hammer, but police soon found him in a nearby alleyway after using CCTV.

Hocker was also spitting in the back of the police van, for which he was also charged with criminal damage. He also referred to the victim as a racial slur when talking to the police, leading them to think the attack may have been racially motivated.

Hocker pleaded guilty to section 20 wounding.

Mitigating for Hocker, Shila Whitehead told the court: “In 2005, he was involved in an incident, he was a man of good character prior to that, but it left him with poor anger management.

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"He relied on taking drugs and could not manage to keep a job because of the temper management issues he had.

"He is a healthier man than he has been in the past. From what he has told me, there is a job for him working on the railways.”

She also added that Hocker had a supportive father who had been helping him.

Sentencing Hocker to 18 months in prison, Judge Rodney Jameson said: “Hopefully this will have a bit of a therapeutic effect on you – some time away from drugs might help.”

Hocker then interrupted: “I think so, thank you.”

Judge Jameson continued: “I hope you take advantage of the support your father has given you.”

Hocker once again thanked the judge before being taken down.