Blackpool takeaway manager Bjorn Beyl starts lengthy jail term after violently attacking man he suspected of burglary with a baseball bat
A businessman who burst into a flat and attacked a man he mistakenly believed had raided his shop has been jailed for 11 years.
Bjorn Beyl, 36, of Simpson Street, Blackpool, entered Richard Nolan's home on Reads Avenue, Blackpool, armed with a baseball bat, following a burglary at Yummy Tummy, in St Annes Road, South Shore, two days earlier.
Mr Nolan, who shouted that he was not the offender, was repeatedly struck on his head as Beyl demanded: "Give me a name."
The victim managed to run out into the street bleeding heavily, and was left with a gaping head wound which needed stitching at hospital, Preston Crown Court was told.
She said: " A BMW arrived driven by Mr Beyl. A scenes of crime officer heard him and an unknown male talking to the owner, Kate, about a burglary at her sandwich shop and also discussing other burglaries in the neighbourhood.
"The student saw Beyl looking at a video on Kate's phone which apparently showed those who were responsible.
"On watching the video the defendant clearly became angry. During the course of the discussion a Vauxhall Insignia had arrived with two more men who remain unidentified.
"Miss Ridley, the CSI officer, heard one man saying he knew who was responsible and concluded the group of men were going to sort it out themselves. She notified police they were going to the Palatine Road area.2
The court heard a witness working outside a property on Reads Avenue saw the two cars arrive, and Beyl run into the house, where Mr Nolan was in bed.
Ms Worlsey continued: "He describes Mr Beyl as very angry and that he started shouting about his shop being burgled and blaming him for doing it. He then started hitting him with the baseball bat."
Beyl's co-defendant, George Morgan, 43, of Chads Road, Blackpool, has pleaded guilty to affray and theft of Nolan's mobile phone but failed to attend his sentencing.
The court heard Morgan had been staying at Mr Nolan's flat but had been kicked out the day before. During the incident he came in, held the victim down and punched him a few times.
The other two men remained outside.
The worker heard shouting inside the property, before the victim ran out bleeding from his head and shouting: "It wasn't me."
He heard Beyl say: "I want a name - tell me in five seconds or you're getting more". Further strikes were dealt before the five seconds was up.
In interview Beyl made no comment but later admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and possession of a weapon.
Since the incident Mr Nolan has been frightened to go out and has suffered scarring.
Beyl has no convictions in the UK, where he has lived for six years, but has 30 previous convictions in Belgium and Spain, including for violence.
Defending, Rachel Woods said: "This offence was borne out of a sense of frustration on his part and his perception there was lack of interest or activity by police to pursue a thorough investigation into the culprits responsible for a string of commercial burglaries occurring in the few days prior to this incident. He's effectively taken the law into his own hands."
She said Beyl had phoned police with names and addresses of people he believed were responsible and after seeing CCTV footage of the June 19 burglary he believed the victim was one of those responsible.
Recorder Paul Taylor said he did not regard it as mitigation.
Beyl and his partner cried as he said: " There is no excuse for the defendant to take the law into his own hands.
"The proper course of action was to inform the police and provide whatever evidence he had to identify the perpetrator."
He said the police had been given no opportunity to carry out an investigation as the break-in was only two days earlier.
At the time of the burglary on June 17, Mr Beyl gave an interview to the Gazette saying his business was forced to stay shut on Sunday – a day it usually takes £800 – and he had to pay out £250 for a new window.