Carlisle woman's arm broken during late night attack by male neighbour


A woman was attacked and injured by her neighbour as a late-night row over loud music erupted into violence.

Kenneth Devlin, 61, lashed out at Ellen Moorhead after he was woken by noise from her party on May 7 last year.

Devlin, of Peel Street, Carlisle, was sentenced at the city’s crown court after admitting that he assaulted Miss Moorhead, causing her actual bodily harm.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, said the pair were neighbours. She spoke of an “unfortunate situation” which unfolded as Miss Moorhead entertained friends for drinks and music.

“The defendant was in bed. He woke, went around and knocked on the door to complain that the music was too loud,” said Miss Whittlestone.

A partygoer turned the tunes down and initially there were no further difficulties.

But a confrontation then started after Miss Moorhead knocked on Devlin’s window.

“Miss Moorhead indicates she could not recall precisely what happened,” said Miss Whittlestone.

“Certainly others indicated there were raised voices. The Crown concedes there was verbal aggression on behalf of the complainant.”

Two blows were then stuck by Devlin with the back of his hand.

“As a result of the first she fell to the floor. She was helped to her feet. The argument continued and she was struck again. That led to the injuries,” said the prosecutor.

Miss Moorhead suffered a grazed elbow, along with “quite significant bruising” to the side of her body.

“Further investigations revealed a fracture to her upper left arm in the area of her shoulder. A plate is going to have to be inserted.

“There are lasting ramifications as a result of this incident,” added Miss Whittlestone.

Despite there being no problems since, Miss Moorhead was planning to leave the area having “found matters extremely difficult”.

Andrew Ford, defending, said there had been “provocation” from the eventual victim.

“He accepts his guilt,” said Mr Ford. “He went over the top. He should not have hit anybody, particularly a woman.

“He is sorry that a bone in her arm was broken. He did not foresee or contemplate that.”

Devlin led a “trouble-free existence” for almost two decades and had shown “courage” to admit the offence.

Having considered the mitigation, Judge Tony Lancaster suspended a five-month prison sentence for a year.

Devlin was also given a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

“It was an argument which escalated,” said Judge Lancaster. “It ended with you lashing out with your hand and going too far.

“I accept that there was a degree of provocation from your neighbour which caused you to act as you had done.”

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