'Drug-fuelled' Harrogate attacker spared jail after suspected stabbing left man with punctured lung

A man suffered a punctured lung following a suspected stabbing – but the drug-fuelled attacker was spared prison.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:17 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 4:29 pm

Daryl Hart, 46, from Harrogate, was drunk and high on cocaine when he attacked the man with an unidentified weapon at a flat in Scarborough.

The named victim suffered several puncture wounds to his back and two to the front, prosecutor Angus Macdonald told York Crown Court.

Daryl Hart was given a 14-month sentenc, suspended for 18 month, and ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation programme.

One of the wounds caused a punctured lung. The others were “superficial” but required hospital treatment at both Scarborough Hospital and James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, although the injuries were ultimately not life-threatening.

Hart, of Albany Avenue, had travelled to Scarborough on one of his regular visits to see family in the area and ended up at the West Riding pub on Castle Road, where he had “too much to drink” and started causing bother.

He and a named female left the pub to go looking for drugs and were followed by the victim to a flat in the town. The victim forced his way into the flat and attacked Hart, whereby a fight ensued.

Hart used “some sort of weapon” on the victim who suffered multiple wounds, said Mr Macdonald.

He was arrested and charged with wounding with intent. He denied the allegation but admitted an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

This plea was accepted by the prosecution, which offered no evidence on the wounding charge. Hart appeared for sentence on Friday.

The court heard that prior to the offence in August last year, Hart had racked up a litany of violent offences which had resulted in serious harm.

In 1996, he attacked a man with a stick, breaking his arm. In another incident, he bit a man’s ear, severing it, after throwing him down some stairs.

In a separate incident in 2002, Hart and another male dragged a man out of his flat at knifepoint. The victim was stabbed with a kitchen knife, resulting in yet another jail sentence.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner said that Hart, who had serious health problems due to drink and drugs, had stayed out of trouble for a long time both before and since the incident in Scarborough.

Recorder Paul Reid slammed Hart for his shocking record and his drink and drug-fuelled attack on the man in Scarborough.

He said although the victim was “the first to use any sort of violence”, Hart then used “some sort of weapon” to cause the puncture wounds.

He told Hart: “It is entirely unclear what (that weapon was) and you have never said what it was.

“Normally, an offence like this, where a weapon is used to cause serious harm, would result in immediate prison, but you were not the initial aggressor and pleaded guilty.”

Mr Reid said he had also noted Hart’s “appalling” health, his remorse and the fact that he had otherwise stayed out of trouble and had been trying to lead a “quiet life”.

For these reasons, Mr Reid said he could suspend the inevitable jail sentence.

The 14-month sentence was suspended for 18 months and Hart was ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation programme.

A not-guilty verdict was recorded on the wounding with intent charge.