Gardeners in brawl over affair feud
Date published: 29 October 2013
A FEUD over an affair was the background for violence between two groups of gardeners, a court heard.
One man was knocked unconscious and suffered fractures to his cheekbones and lower jaw. His brother had injuries to his face and arm, and two black eyes.
The violent scene erupted in the Riversway area of Poulton-le-Fylde, where Paul Smith (49) and his brother Keith (53), had travelled from Manchester to do gardening work.
Trouble began when several men from the Greater Manchester area went door-to-door in that area, selling compost.
Preston Crown Court was told there had been a feud between two of the men following an affair involving the wife of one of the brothers and a man named Wayne Langley, two years earlier.
Langley (29) of Kenyon Lane, Middleton; Arthur Pollitt (54) of Eaves Lane, Oldham; his son Samuel Pollitt (27), of Huntingdon Avenue, Oldham and relative Andrew Pollitt (43), of Park View, Oldham had all pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.
Langley was jailed for two years by a judge yesterday. Some of the defendants had earlier faced charges of wounding with intent and an alternative allegation of wounding, but pleaded guilty to affray part way through a trial last month.
In April this year, Keith and Paul Smith parked on Riversway, a quiet residential cul-de-sac, to do gardening work.
The defendants turned up in a truck - by coincidence - and Langley allegedly got out armed with a pitchfork.
IN a general confrontation Andrew Pollitt was said to have smashed two windows and to have struck Paul Smith over the head with a hammer. Keith Smith was stabbed in the upper arm as he defended himself. Andrew Pollitt allegedly struck him with a hammer. Keith Smith approached Langley and was stabbed in the chest with a pitch fork.
Mr Close told the court “The Crown says Wayne Langley and Andrew Pollitt caused injury. It is difficult to say which they precisely caused. The two other defendants were less involved, supporting and encouraging the violence”.
Robin Kitching, for Langley, said there had been a chance meeting between the two groups and everything had flowed from Langley’s decision to stop the van: “His intention was to have a verbal confrontation. He wasn’t expecting the sort of incident that occurred.”
Andrew Pollitt will be sentenced in January. Samuel Pollitt was given 12 months, suspended for two years, plus two years supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Arthur Pollitt was given 15 months suspended for two years, with 240 hours of unpaid work.
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