Thief stabbed Solihull householder with screwdriver after being chased with a hammer

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A thief caught raiding cars on a Solihull street stabbed a resident in the leg in a desperate bid to escape arrest.

Stephen Hatton, 24, from Stechford, was stealing from vehicles on The Crescent, Shirley, Solihull, when he was confronted by resident Geoge Kobzaru.

Worried he might be attacked, Mr Kobzaru had armed himself with a hammer before challenging Hatton at around 4.30am on March 28.

In footage shown at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Kobzaru was seen chasing a terrified Hatton who climbed over and on top of cars as he tried to escape.

But it was when he reached a stolen Toyota Yaris he used to drive to the scene that a scuffle took place and he stabbed Mr Kobzaru twice in the leg with a screwdriver.

Even then the thief tried to escape on foot but was chased by another resident of the quiet street and eventually police.

Hatton pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, theft, interference with a vehicle, driving while disqualified, with no insurance and no licence.

Jailing him for nine months, Recorder Edward Coke told Hatton: “I have watched the footage.

“It shows you being chased from left to right, to left by the complainant.

“What you did was use excessive self-defence but it doesn’t stop there because it involved a weapon.

“You know full well I can’t overlook an attack with a weapon no matter what happened before then.

“I also can’t ignore the systematic stealing that went on. You were trying to steal from others while they were asleep in your beds.”

Amy Jacobs, prosecuting, said Hatton arrived at The Crescent in the stolen Yaris before trying to get into cars parked outside homes.

Mr Kubzaru woke up, told his wife to call police while he went to confront the crook.

After chasing Hatton with a hammer and trying to prevent him driving away in the Yaris, the brave householder was stabbed twice in the right leg leaving him with puncture injuries.

Before he was rumbled, drug addict Hatton had stolen change from one car while from another he looted a pair of novelty sunglasses, a chess game, bank card and an NHS pre-pay card.

Hatton had previous offences for theft and burglary dating back to 1995 but had no convictions for violence.

Samantha Bailey, defending, said Hatton should have allowed himself to be captured but feared being attacked with the hammer.

She said: “He should not have run away, he should have realised he was caught, put his hands up and let matters take their course.”

Hatton, she said, had committed the offences to feed his drug habit but said he had been free of drugs since returning to prison in March.

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