Jealous boyfriend attacked man with wrench in street in revenge for liking his girlfriend's Instagram photos

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A jealous boyfriend armed himself with a wrench and used it to carry out a street attack on a rival for liking his partner's Instagram photos.

Thomas Steinke struck the victim over the head and to the legs with the weapon then made threats to kill him.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 26-year-old's motive for the attack was "bizarre jealousy".

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Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said the incident on February 5 last year arose after the victim indicated that he liked two Instagram photos of Steinke's partner.

Leeds Crown CourtLeeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

Mr Sharp said: "He became bizarrely aggressive as a result of this and issued repeated threats on various social media platforms and then put these threats into action."

Steinke went looking for the victim in his van and got out of the vehicle when he saw him in a street in Dewsbury.

The prosecutor continued: "He hit the victim several times over the head and to the leg with the wrench and said 'when I see you again I will kill you.'"

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Several members of the public in the street witnessed the attack.

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The victim was taken to Pinderfield Hospital in Wakefield for x-rays after the attack.

He suffered bruises, scratches and swelling to his body but escaped serious injury.

The court heard he had to have physiotherapy after the attack and lost some work as a personal trainer.

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Steinke was arrested but refused to comment during an interview.

Police officers then obtained CCTV footage which identified him as the attacker.

Steinke, of Staincliffe Close, Dewsbury, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

A probation officer told the court that Steinke had stated in an interview that he had been "going through issues" with his partner at the time of the offence and he was struggling to manage his emotions.

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Michael Greenhalgh, mitigating, said Steinke worked as a self-employed sprinkler fitter.

The barrister said his client had struggled financially during the pandemic and it had "affected his self-esteem."

Steinke was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to the victim.

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Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: "Whatever the background to this, arming yourself with a weapon and seeking someone out and using the weapon to hit them is a serious matter.

"You could not complain if I sent you immediately to prison."