|"Sustained attack": Hutchinson|
The multi-millionaire owner of the company which built Big Ben’s clock received a suspended prison sentence yesterday for attacking a motorist while walking near his £3m Thamesside penthouse apartment.
Property developer and businessman Iain Catleugh Hutchinson, 51, reigned down half a dozen blows on his 66 year-old victim, who says he was then kicked while on the ground.
A forensic psychiatrist says Hutchinson’s “near miss” with the motorist triggered the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered after his brother’s death in a car crash nearby almost 14 years to the day.
The Geordie entrepreneur is a director of E Dent & Co Ltd., a 202 year-old firm, which built the mechanism that chimes Big Ben.
Hutchinson, of Montevetro Buildings, 100 Battersea Church Road, Battersea pleaded guilty to assaulting Jeremy Lyons, causing him actual bodily harm, in nearby Whistlers Avenue on May 29.
CCTV in the driveway of Mr. Lyons’ £1.4m home captured the attack and the footage was played at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court.
“Nothing could excuse what you did that day,” Judge Tim Lamb QC told tearful Hutchinson, accepting his PTSD caused an “override in judgement and ability to control his emotions.”
|"Shocked and scared": Jeremy Lyons|
He sentenced him to ten months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months and ordered him to complete 100 hours community service with a fifteen-day rehabilitation requirement.
He must also pay £425 costs and a £140 victim surcharge. Mr. Lyons is pursuing compensation through the civil court.
“This was a sustained attack on defenceless man in his own garden,” the judge told Hutchinson. “Having found the vehicle you climbed onto private property and issued threats and followed those threats with blows with a clenched fist.
“You threw Mr. Lyons, a man of sixty-six to the ground and he offered no defence to the attack. It was a sustained assault and has had a sustained and prolonged effect on Mr. Lyons.
Prosecutor Mr. Stephen Apted said: “The victim was returning to his home address at 1pm in the afternoon.
“He was driving his vehicle and as he turned into his road he stopped, having seen this defendant.
“Mr. Lyons drove on and in his rear-view mirror saw the defendant mouthing an obscenity to him.”
The victim, who has retired after working at Lloyds for twenty-five years as a reinsurer, says Hutchinson mouthed the word: “c***.”
He maintains he saved the defendant from serious injury by braking sharply and the pair exchanged glances for a few seconds.
|Right Hook: Hutchinson throws punch|
“He got out of his car and can be seen placing a low wooden fence across the driveway.
“Mr. Hutchinson approaches and says: ‘I’m going to get you. I’m going to kill you.’
“He grabs hold of Mr. Lyons and punches him with his clenched fist a number of times as Mr. Lyons tried to back away.
“He thinks he was punched seven times.
“Once on the ground he’s kicked a number of times by the defendant in the legs.
“He is then picked up by the defendant and thrown to the ground.”
The CCTV footage shows Hutchinson, who has a previous assault police conviction when failing to stop his bicycle, step over a low fence and confront bespectacled Mr. Lyons by his car.
Mr. Lyons’ own CCTV clearly shows Hutchinson grabbing him with his left hand as he aimed blows with his right fist.
|Still Swinging: Hutchinson Continues Onslaught|
The CCTV then shows Hutchinson picking up Mr. Lyons and hurling him over the low fence onto the pavement in from of his house.
A neighbour intervenes and follows Hutchinson, who told him: “He nearly hit me. F*** off, he’s a c***.”
He was arrested after CCTV cameras at the Montevetro Buildings captured him entering the landmark complex and police obtained a warrant to force the images to be released.
Hutchinson made no comment when questioned. “He made a prepared statement that he felt threatened and was defending himself,” added Mr. Apted.
He claims none of his six punches connected and denies kicking Mr. Lyons and pleaded guilty because he admits dragging him to the ground, causing injuries.
The victim suffered a cut to his left elbow, left ring finger, bruising to his left leg, plus pain to his back and neck.
He told police: “The incident left me shocked and scared. I have been attacked in my front garden and now I am worried about going out of my house in case he is there again.
“My glasses were also damaged,” added Mr. Lyons, who had a CT scan before the incident for two bulging discs in his spine.
“I told him I had a bad back and he continued the onslaught.”
Mr. Lyons drove himself to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital at the 3am that night and he has received injections for back spasms since the assault.
“Mr. Lyons says it was unprovoked, he was terrified, feared he was going to be killed and couldn’t get away,” explained Mr. Apted.
Mr. Mark cotter, defending, said: “He wishes to advance an apology to the court and Mr. Lyons for what was unacceptable behaviour.
“It was perceived by him as not his fault that he was nearly hit by Mr. Lyons.
“He had no intention as to any violence. There has been a total lapse of judgement. He acted in a way that is wholly out of character.
“It’s already had a profound effect on him. It’s had an impact on his business and a repetitional effect on him.”
Mr. Lyons attended the hearing and was unhappy with the outcome. “A suspended sentence is not a deterrent or a punishment for this man.
“He clearly attacked me, it was clearly unprovoked.
“I assume the copper who gave him a character reference in court is not the policeman he assaulted in 1999.”
Mr. Lyons is now installing internal CCTV. “The last thing he said to me was: ‘I know where you live, I’m going to come back and get you.’”
Speaking previously after Hutchinson admitted the attack, the victim said: “I stopped right in front of him and he nearly walked into my car.
“I looked him in the eye as if to say: ‘You were lucky.’ It’s not my fault he’s walked off the edge of the pavement.
“I drove into my road and in my rear-view mirror I could see he was ‘effing and blinding, swearing and shouting and thought: ‘That’s stupid.’
“He punched me seven times and I have a bad back, which previously needed two operations and the last thing I needed was him punching me.
“I was in agony everywhere and could not walk for two weeks and could not sleep for three nights.
“He said: ‘I’m gonna get you, kill you,’ and started punching me, kicking me and then picks me up and throws me over the gate and I ended up on the pavement.
Mr. Lyons says only a neighbour responding to his pleas for help ended the attack. “If the neighbour had not shouted I’d be dead or paralysed or in hospital.
“The man is an animal. At the time I thought I was going to die, I thought he was never going to stop.”
Dent supplied a timepiece to the 1st Duke of Wellington and built the new St. Pancras Station clock.
Former civil engineer Hutchinson’s dream was to build thousands of £300 per-week three-bed flats for Londoners.
He is currently an active director with 14 different companies.