Hammer attack at Big Apple bowling alley at Junction One Retail Park in Rugby

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A Rugby man who believed his partner was having an affair with a colleague turned up at a works do and attacked the other man with a hammer.

But Jose De Oliveira Costa was not jailed for the attack when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to assault and possessing an offensive weapon.

De Oliveira Costa, 40, of Saunton Road, Rugby, was sentenced to 52 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay £250 compensation to his victim plus £340 costs.

Prosecutor Kate Thomas said the victim and De Oliveira Costa’s partner both worked at the Marks & Spencer distribution centre in Crick. They were among a group of people from the centre who went to a ‘works do’ at the Big Apple bowling alley at the Junction One retail park in Rugby towards the end of last year.

Despite lacking evidence De Oliveira Costa thought his partner was having an affair and became even more suspicious when she went to the works do alone.

Deciding to go along anyway, De Oliveira Costa approached the victim and another man as they smoked cigarettes outside.

De Oliveira Costa took a swing one of the men, who he knew, and then ran past him and hit his victim with the hammer just above his knee.

The man ran back into the bowling alley, chased by the defendant who continued to pursue him brandishing the hammer inside until other people jumped on him and held him down and took the weapon from him.

After he was arrested De Oliveira Costa said he had drunk half a bottle of brandy before deciding to take the hammer and confront his victim over the alleged affair.

Colin Charville, defending, said De Oliveira Costa’s partner had indicated to him that their relationship was over. His client said he had never done anything like that before in his life, and his partner confirmed that it was totally out of character.”

Mr Charville added that the couple are still living together and are trying to resolve their difficulties.

Reecorder Nicholas Paines QC told De Oliveira Costa: “The hammer is the worst feature of this case.

“It is clear you were very drunk and had a grudge but you did not simply go to the works do to beat him up, but took with you a weapon with which, in your state, you could have killed or seriously injured him.

“But I accept you are a hard-working man for whom this was out of character.”