Court told that men had come to blows leading up to incident

Bradford Crown Court

Bradford Crown Court

First published in Local Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

A man suffered a fractured skull when a neighbour hit him on the head with a baseball bat, a Court heard.

The victim, Paul Horsfall, had earlier slapped or struck his alleged attacker, Jason O’Hagan, on the head as they both left the block of flats where they lived, Bradford Crown Court was told today.

O’Hagan, 36, has pleaded not guilty to wounding Mr Horsfall with intent, on September 12 last year.

Prosecutor Nadim Bashir said Mr Horsfall, then 28, suffered a fracture to the base of the skull. He said the real issue was whether the injuries were caused by the defendant.

Three months before the incident, police had been called to the two men fighting at the Woodland House block of flats in Fairhaven Green, Thorpe Edge, Bradford. Both suffered minor injuries and were arrested for affray but were later released without charge.

Mr Bashir said that on the evening of September 11, O’Hagan was leaving the block of flats at the same time as Mr Horsfall when he was struck on the back of the head by Mr Horsfall.

Later, a neighbour, Lynne Green, was chatting with Mr Horsfall in her living room, when she heard the defendant shouting from the communal staircase. He was angry and agitated.

Mr Bashir said: “Without warning, he turned and ran back upstairs into his flat and, almost immediately, came running back down holding an object in his right hand. It was long and could have been a stick or a bat. He ran past her straight into her flat and closed the door behind him, effectively locking her out of her own flat.”

The prosecutor said Miss Green heard smashing, shouting and screaming from inside her flat.

Police were called and found blood on the floor, door and wall, the coffee table smashed and Mr Horsfall lying injured on the sofa.

He was taken to hospital and O’Hagan was later arrested.

He later claimed he was at a party all night and could not have been at the scene of the crime.

Denying the allegation that he struck Mr Horsfall, O’Hagan replied: “I know he had a lot of enemies and I have always tried to stay away from him.”

The trial continues.

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