A FATHER-OF-FIVE attacked his neighbour with a baseball bat after threatening him and his dad as horrified residents looked.

Chris Maggs, 44, lashed out with the weapon during a standoff with Gregory Tovey in Blaenau Gwent.

Cardiff Crown Court heard it was unclear what triggered the violence but there was “tension between the defendant and wider members of the victim’s family”.


Suzanne Payne, prosecuting, said Maggs, who had been drinking, confronted Mr Tovey as the complainant drove into their street in his van.

She told the court: “The defendant walked towards him and shouted ‘I’ve had enough of this! You’re trying to intimidate me!”

Mrs Payne said that Mr Tovey was puzzled and initially thought Maggs didn’t recognise him.

The judge, Recorder David Elias QC, was told how the defendant later then armed himself with the baseball bat and there was a row in the street between him, Mr Tovey and the victim’s father.

Mrs Payne said: “He had the bat behind his back and he told them, ‘There’s two of you.’

“Mr Maggs then raised the baseball bat before the complainant pushed him in the stomach.

“The defendant then hit Mr Tovey with the bat on his left leg behind the knee.”

Maggs, of Cwrt Bracty, Aberbeeg, Abertillery, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and the possession of an offensive weapon.

The offences were committed on August 7, 2018.

The court was told that for an unknown reason, it took the police more than a year to charge him.

Nicholas Gedge, mitigating, said his client had a very limited antecedent record and was last in trouble with the law in 1998.

His barrister told the judge: “It was a single strike. He shouldn’t have done it.

“The defendant suffers from not insignificant health issues and should not have been drinking.

“He has been refreshingly candid in his pre-sentence report.”

Mr Gedge added: “He has a supportive family who speak highly of him. He is a father-of-five. This was out of character for him.”

The judge heard any problem between Mr Tovey and Maggs was now “water under the bridge”.

The court was told that the defendant was in receipt of £920 in benefits a month.

Recorder Elias told Maggs: “You took a baseball bat because of some perceived argument or threat.

“You had it behind your back and then you tapped it on your palm and made threats.”

The defendant was jailed for eight months, suspended, for 12 months.

He must complete 20 sessions of a rehabilitation activity requirement and also pay £500 towards prosecution costs and a £140 surcharge.