Man jailed after family attack on love rival

Crime News.
Crime News.

A man who kicked and punched a love rival after pursuing him across a Spalding street has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Benjamin Lee Rodgers was accompanied by four members of his family including his father, two brothers and a cousin as he chased his victim Richard Hare following a chance meeting in Spalding town centre.

Tony Stanford, prosecuting, said their victim had just bought cigarettes and alcohol from a convenience store when he was spotted on Westlode Street.

“At the time Mr Hare was going out with Benjamin Lee Rodgers’ ex-wife. He says he has had issues with the Rodgers family.”

The incident began when Jason Avis, a cousin of Benjamin Lee Rodgers, ran across the road towards Mr Hare and made a comment.

Then a black car pulled up and four other family members emerged including Benjamin Lee Rodgers, his two brothers Harry and Thomas, together with their father Benjamin John Rodgers.

The group approached Mr Hare before Benjamin Lee Rodgers punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Then, while on the floor, he was repeatedly kicked and punched to his body, arms and legs.

The attack ended when two women intervened. An ambulance was called and Mr Hare was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with concussion. He also had facial injuries, a number of lumps on his head, a swollen scalp and a chipped tooth.

Benjamin Lee Rodgers (33), of Six House Bank, West Pinchbeck; Benjamin John Rodgers (53), of Dozens Bank, West Pinchbeck; and Jason Avis (20), of Money Bridge Lane, Pinchbeck; each admitted affray as a result of the incident on August 4, 2013.

Benjamin Lee Rodgers was jailed for 12 months. Benjamin John Rodgers was given a 12- month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £500 costs.

Avis was given a nine-month custodial sentence suspended for two years with 80 hours of unpaid work.

Thomas Rodgers (21) and Harry Rodgers (19), both of Dozens Bank, West Pinchbeck, each admitted a section 4 public order offence. They were each given a 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £100 costs each.

Liz Harte, for Benjamin Lee Rodgers, said the group had been looking for his sister on the evening and had not planned the attack on Mr Hare.

“He now has a new partner. Mr Hare is no longer with his (Benjamin Lee Rodgers) ex-wife.” She urged the judge to suspend any jail sentence.

Rebecca Channon, for Benjamin John Rodgers, said he accepted being involved in violence but did not kick the victim.

She said that if he was given an immediate jail sentence his wife would suffer as she would struggle to pay the mortgage on their home.

Miss Channon added that her client suffered from a kidney problem for which he is due to see a consultant in November.

Andrew Cogan, for Avis, said his actions on the night arose from a misguided sense of loyalty to his family.

“He got carried away in the heat of the moment. He is ashamed of his actions. He knows he should not have done it.”

Sunil Khanna, for Thomas Rodgers, said he was a promising athlete who achieved good GCSE and A level results.

He said Thomas Rodgers was in the group that crossed the road but did not inflict any blows.

“He has not been in trouble before. He is very sorry for what happened.”

Giles Bedloe, for Harry Rodgers, said he acted out of character and regretted what happened. He said his client did not physically join in the attack but was involved by being present with the others.

Recorder Timothy Spencer QC, passing sentence, said that Benjamin John Rodgers and Benjamin Lee Rodgers each bore a heavy responsibility for what happened.

He said he was imposing an immediate jail sentenced on Benjamin Lee Rodgers as he had admitted kicking the victim whereas the others did not admit any kicking.

He told them “These were shameful events and this was a shameful day for your family.”