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)

News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
News
Youngsters around the country living it up in des-res two-storey garden mansions with a balcony
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Extras
indybest
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal