Row over missing cigarette lighter leads to attack

William Miller
William Miller

A man who attacked his friend in a drunken rage after accusing him of stealing his cigarette lighter has been jailed for 34 weeks.

Victim David Wallace was left with a fractured wrist after hurting his arm when he lost his footing during the fracas.

William Miller, 34, of Woodfield Road, Blackpool, rained blows on him after accusing him of taking the lighter while the pair were drinking.

He pleaded guilty to causing him actual bodily harm on March 8 last year.

Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said: "The complainant had been at the defendant's address and had spent time there with the defendant and his partner, who happens to be his cousin. They had been drinking and socialising together.

"Just after midnight they parted company when David Wallace decided to go home.

"Having got home he received a phone call from his cousin asking whether or not he had taken the defendant's lighter.

"It was obvious the defendant had become agitated. He could hear him in the background shouting and arguing.

"Because of all he could hear, he then decided to return to the house because he was concerned.

" The defendant came out of his house and there was a confrontation and the complainant was struck to the head.

"A number of punches were delivered and one knocked him to the ground where it seems he was kicked."

Despite the attack, the worried man remained at the scene and after hearing further arguing in the house he went into Miller's address.

At this point he was attacked again and fractured his wrist when he fell over.

Representing himself at Preston's Sessions House, Miller said he had been trying to "get his life on track" and was due to move into a house with his partner.

He said realising the lighter was missing had "set him off".

Judge Ian Leeming QC said his previous record aggravated the matter.

He added: "You were in effect accusing him of taking it without your permission. I assume Mr Wallace did no such thing, but you were under the impression that he had."