A MAN who took part in a savage beating which left his victim with several broken bones has been jailed for four years.

Arthur Wilkinson and an accomplice brutally attacked Stephen Pugh when the defendant discovered three men burgling his compound in Horden, near Peterlee, east Durham, in January.

The 52-year-old drove Mr Pugh to the University Hospital of North Durham in Durham with serious injuries, with Wilkinson claiming that he had found him in that condition.

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The 34-year-old suffered a broken back bone, a double fracture to his leg, a smashed nose, a fractured left arm and bruising all over his body.

Today, (Monday, December 3), the court heard how Mr Pugh was hit with a wooden bat as well as being kicked and punched.

Wilkinson, of Hatfield Place, Peterlee, denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but admitted it after a trial began in September.

Robert Adams, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court another man had been questioned about his involvement in the brutal attack but no charges were ever made against the man who was named by Wilkinson.

Mr Pugh has needed 13 operations since the attack at a yard owned by Wilkinson.

In mitigation, Stephen Constantine said a psychiatric report showed that Wilkinson was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after suffering a violent attack in 2007 which led to him having flashbacks.

Mr Constantine told the court how Wilkinson had been pushed to the ground by one of the three men he discovered trying to steal two quad bikes from his compound.

He said: “This man was in a vulnerable position, physically and mentally, and that had a significant bearing on the way he then reacted.”

Judge George Moorhouse sentenced Wilkinson for four years after taking into consideration his guilty plea and the contents of his psychiatric report.

He said: “It does seem that the other man involved was the one using the baton and was most likely to have caused the most extensive injuries.

"Having said that it was a joint enterprise and you must accept responsibility for your part in it.”