Gainsborough

Man jailed after ‘brutal attack’ nearly killed victim

A man who carried out a brutal attack which almost killed his victim was jailed for 13 years after a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday.

John Smith beat his victim Christopher Rawson with a length of wood and kicked him leaving him unconscious.

Mr Rawson, aged 52, was then stripped of his clothes and hosed down before being driven back to his home where he was left dying on the sofa.

He was found after a colleague became concerned that Mr Rawson failed to turn up for work and was not answering calls.

The man broke in to find Mr Rawson lying seriously injured on the sofa and close to death. He was taken to hospital and spent weeks in a coma before finally coming round.

Judge Andrew Easteal, passing sentence, told Smith: “Had he been left for much longer there is no doubt he would have died there. He had life threatening injuries and was in a coma for nearly a month afterwards.

“It was a brutal crime with terrible consequences. There is no escaping the ruthless brutality that you showed. The effects have been devastating.”

The court was told that Mr Rawson was attacked at Smith’s home in the village of Pilham after Smith lost his temper and went into a rage.

Mr Rawson suffered serious injuries including fractures to his arms, wrist, leg and rib. He also had a collapsed lung and two puncture wounds to the back of his head which caused a bleed of his brain.

The court was told that since the incident he has been forced to move for his own safety and now lives in another area of the country.

John Alan Smith, 38, of Pilham Lane, Pilham, Lincolnshire, initially denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Christopher Rawson between May 22 and 25 2017, but changed his plea to guilty half way through his trial.

He also admitted unlawful production of cannabis and was jailed for 13 years.

Michael Smith, 34, was jailed for two and a half years. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

His brother Michael Smith, 34, of Yarborough Court, Barton on Humber, admitted assisting an offender by transporting Mr Rawson back to Gainsborough. He was jailed for two and a half years.

John Smith’s son Leroy Smith, 19, of Pilham Lane, Pilham, Lincolnshire, admitted a charge of being concerned in the supply of cannabis. He was given a 12 month community order with 140 hours of unpaid work.

Nicola Moore, prosecuting, said: “Christopher Rawson feels that he is now a prisoner in his own home. He had to leave his home as a result of threats.

“He has no contact with family and friends. He has nobody who can visit. He struggles to cope from day to day.”

During the trial the jury was told that Christopher Rawson was a crack cocaine user who had agreed to grow cannabis for John Smith.

Mr Rawson said he was attacked after arriving at John Smith’s house.

He told the jury that he was kicked a number of times before John Smith disappeared and return with a piece of wood and said he was going to kill him.

Mr Rawson said: “That’s when he hit me with the bit of wood. He went to whack me again so I put my right knee up.

“I was writhing in pain with a broken arm, then I got a whack on the head.”

Mr Rawson said the next thing he remembered was waking up in hospital and nurses telling him he had been in a coma for weeks.

“I woke up wondering how I had got there,” he said.

Laura Hocknell, for John Smith, said he is a father of five who is devoted to his family.

“He deeply regrets the position he has put those he loves in and put Mr Rawson in.”

Tim Savage, for Michael Smith, said he was not involved in any physical violence but agreed to his brother’s request to transport Mr Rawson back to Gainsborough.

Holly Betke, for Leroy Smith, said her client had no previous convictions and after his arrest spent 11 weeks in custody on remand.