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Builder hit supervisor with spirit level at building site after his work was criticised

PUBLISHED: 15:27 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:19 26 April 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A builder attacked a superior with a spirit level on a building site after he took exception to having his work criticised, a court has heard.

Lee Marsh, 29, had been working on a building site at Snettisham when a fight broke out between Marsh and one of his bosses.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said the site manager went to where Marsh had been working but questioned the standard of the work he had done with chips in a wall and the slabs he had laid not being straight.

Norwich Crown Court heard on Thursday that an argument broke out between the two men with the victim first to pick up a shovel to defend himself.

Miss O'Donovan said Marsh armed himself with a “spirit level and began swinging it about”.

She said the spirit level made contact with the victim on at least one occasion and resulted in a cut to his left knee.

Miss O'Donovan said there was some “further verbal altercation” between the two of them before the defendant was removed from the site.

But as he was taken away Marsh said the victim was a “dead man”.

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Marsh, of Roger Ride, Dereham, had been due to stand trial for an offence of actual bodily harm (ABH) but pleaded guilty to a lesser offence of battery in August 2017.

He appeared before the court on Thursday, April 25, when he was sentenced to a 12-month community order by judge Stephen Holt.

He said: “The site foreman commented about the standard of your workmanship and you took exception to that.

“He armed himself with a shovel and you armed yourself with a spirit level and went at him.

“At low level it made contact with his leg.”

The court heard that the victim had not provided a victim statement and had not wanted to attend court.

Marsh was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

He also admitted a bail act offence, in that he did not appear in court on Wednesday, April 24 and was fined £200 for that offence.

Oliver Haswell, mitigating, said his client only armed himself with the spirit level after the victim had picked up a shovel. He accepted there had been a “little bit of venom” in his response but said he had been “doing his best” and took exception to how he was spoken to.

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