Man jailed for axe attack in Halifax flats

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A 36-year-old man has been jailed for more than five years after he injured his neighbour with an axe during an incident at a flats complex in Halifax.

A court heard how Bryan Ellinger had been left with a permanent hand injury after he tried to protect himself when he was attacked by Aron Fleming at the Weavers Brook flats on Cumberland Close in July.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he accepted there was a considerable background to the incident and the two men did not get on from time to time.

"You fell out in a very graphic way on the day in question," the judge told Fleming.

"Moments before you went and armed yourself with an axe you had been headbutted and assaulted by the complainant and that clearly disturbed you."

The court heard how Fleming banged on his neighbour's door and threatened to kill him.

"You aimed the axe, it looks like, at his head in anger," said the judge.

Mr Ellinger's left hand took the force of the blow and he suffered a seven-centimetre "bone-deep" wound.

"That man is scarred, scared and traumatised and it looks like he will have very long-lasting disability or impairment," the judge told Fleming.

In a victim impact statement Mr Ellinger described how he no longer had the use of his little finger and was taking painkillers daily.

Prosecutor Laura McBride said the complainant now felt very vulnerable and wanted to leave the Halifax area.

Barrister Mark Brookes, for Fleming, accused the complainant of "underplaying" what had been going on between the two men.

"The evil is clearly not turning the other cheek and the defendant and his family will have ample time to reflect on that," said Mr Brookes.

Fleming pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and the judge said he would have been jailed for seven years following a trial.

But he said Fleming's personal mitigation and the progress he had made in the last few years meant he could reduce that term to five years and four months.