Man jailed for affray that ended in death

A BUSINESSMAN who killed a member of a gang he believed to be damaging a neighbour's car, was yesterday sent to jail for 18 months.

Norman Waller, 34, was cleared of murder and two wounding charges at Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court last week, but was found guilty of causing an affray in the incident last February.

Sentencing Waller, of Low Fell, Gateshead, for affray, the judge, Mr Justice Roch, said that it was right he should go to jail because he knew his actions that night would have serious consequences.

Terry Malone, 24, also of Low Fell, died in hospital five days after being stabbed in the chest with a chisel by Waller as the gang surrounded him and his neighbour's son Peter Fay.

The jury, which last week cleared Mr Fay, a 22-year-old university student, of murder and wounding, took the view that the men acted in self-defence when the gang surrounded them.

Mr Justice Roch, said yesterday that he accepted this was self-defence and he was jailing Waller, director of a double glazing firm and a father-of-two, for the 'evil' of causing an affray which led to Mr Malone's tragic death.

The judge said that grabbing a 15-year-old boy in the gang and threatening to cut off his ears with the chisel was 'bound to lead to serious trouble', as was subsequently approaching the main group and waving the chisel.

'It was inevitable that behaviour would lead to further violence and that you and the man with you would get the worst of it. It was also inevitable, because you had introduced a chisel into the situation, that someone was going to get hurt.' The judge added: 'A jail sentence would also make it clear to others that the law will not permit individuals . . . to take the law into their own hands.'

Earlier, David Robson, for the defence, spoke of residents being 'under siege' from car thieves, vandals and burglars.

'It was against that background that a man of impeccable character, a man of peace, felt such a degree of frustration and threat, not only to himself, but to the respectable little community in which he lived, that he snapped and did something wholly uncharacteristic,' he said.

Waller had lost his home, the future of his eight employees was under threat, and he was in danger of reprisals from prisoners at Durham jail. Mr Robson also handed the judge a petition and letters from former neighbours in Low Fell urging him to show mercy.

During the two-week trial the jury heard how Waller had been plagued by crime. His car and his parents' car had been vandalised outside his home at least six times.

He was forced to move his business 20 miles from Low Fell to Fencehouses, Co Durham, after the premises were set on fire, steel shutters were smashed with an axe, and raiders dug a tunnel into the building during an attempted robbery. The court was told that only three of the 20 homes in the street where Waller lived had escaped the attentions of burglars or car vandals.

After his arrest, Waller said: 'I just snapped. I was at the end of my tether with damage to cars and factories. It's just like mob rule. Nothing and no one seems to be safe from them.'

(Photographs omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Humanities Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

PSHE Teachers needed for exciting project

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Teachers with a passion for PSHE neede...

Cover Supervisor

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Cover Sup...

EBD Teacher in Shropshire

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: EBD Teacher - ShropshireWe are current...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits