Cumbria Crack

Windermere man jailed for pushing disabled pal who fell from wheelchair

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN who assaulted his uncle at their Windermere family home and then shoved a disabled friend, causing him to fall from a wheelchair, has been jailed.

Christopher Berton, 32, lashed out at Giancarlo Berton at a Spooner Vale address occupied by several generations of relatives on October 19. Berton was first overheard saying he could pay someone to kill his uncle, who he then goaded, repeatedly pushed and grabbed around the throat while yelling threats.

Berton smashed a £30 bicycle pump, damaged his uncle’s car and stole his £160 jacket. The victim later spoke of suffering nightmares and anxiety, stating: “My main concern is that of my personal safety as I fully know what Christopher is capable of.”

After leaving the family home, Berton was offered accommodation by a partially paralysed and wheelchair-bound pal in Crewe. But on November 1, while high on hallucinogenic drugs, Berton snatched the man’s MacBook and shoved his arm with enough force to cause him to tumble from the wheelchair and suffer bruising.

He was unable to get back into the chair, and used a lifeline button around his neck to summon help. “I’m already vulnerable, being a wheelchair user, but now I feel like I can’t trust anyone. Even someone that I called a friend,” the man later stated. “This is going to affect me for life, forever looking over my shoulder. It’s not fair. It’s no way to live.”

Berton admitted two assaults, two thefts and criminal damage – offences which also put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence only imposed in August.

Jailing Berton for a total of nine months, Recorder Lawrence McDonald said of his offending against the disabled victim: “It is… the act of a coward; the act of a bully.

“He allowed you into his home and completely abused that trust by attacking him and stealing from him.”

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