Man attacked ‘staring man’ with hammers in mall

A worker who attacked a man with two hammers inside a shopping center while women and children watched in horror has been put behind bars.

Mitchell Goulding, 24, hit the buyer “at least three times,” including when he was on the ground, using his work tools after a fight between the two began on JD Sports on June 20 of this year.

Goulding claimed he was acting in self-defense after the shopping partner allegedly threatened to ‘kill’ him at Erdington’s Fort shopping center in Birmingham, prompting fears that he would ‘pull out a knife and stab him’.

Birmingham Live reports that CCTV footage showed the mess that took place inside the sports store and Goulding running to his parked car before preparing with weapons from the trunk of his vehicle.

He then proceeded to ‘aggressively’ hold them with both hands as he faced the man who had ‘followed’ him to his car. After the assault, Goulding escaped the scene, only to be later stopped by mall security and arrested by police.

While the judge found an ‘element of provocation’, he said there was no ‘realistic basis’ for self-defense, as he told him: “Carrying arms is a crime that these courts take seriously, in the presence of more women and children. still”.

Goulding, of White Farm Road in Sutton Coldfield, was locked up for 24 weeks in Birmingham Magistrates Court on 24 November after previously admitting possession of an offensive weapon.

JD Sports at The Fort

He was returning a pair of sneakers he had bought as a Father’s Day gift for his father when he saw another buyer ‘looking at’ him.

“This guy was looking at me and hitting his fists,” Goulding told the court during Newton’s hearing.

“As I stood next to each other, he asked me ‘why are you looking at me?’ He said, ‘What’s your problem?’

“He was wearing a mask at the time, I picked it up and he started beating me. At that moment, he was telling me that he was going to kill me. I think he thought I was someone else.”

Goulding told the court that he feared the man would “take a knife out of his bag and stab him.”

He then left JD to ‘go’ in his truck, but claims he did not have time to flee as the man had followed him to his vehicle.

Instead, he opened the boot to remove two of his working claw hammers that were on top, before aggressively “punching” them toward the man.

“I’m not going to give him a chance to kill me,” he said.

“I pulled out my hammers. He was still laughing at me and saying he was going to kill me. It was fight or flight.”

He struck the man “at least three times”, including when he was on the ground, the court heard.

Goulding admitted that being in JD Sports with two hammers was not a “good position” and added: “I would not have liked to see that myself.”

His defense attorney, Ms Mondir, said that he was previously of good character and had been doing charity work and working long hours since the incident.

District Judge David Wain said: “He was attacked several times and suffered injuries. By his statement, the defendant agrees that he had the wound hammers.

“What’s pretty clear is that he got a chance to get into his truck instead of opening the trunk and removing the hammers.

“At the time of CCTV, the other gentleman was in constant retreat.

“The defendant was behaving in an aggressive and confrontational manner, including sweeping gestures before assaulting the gentleman, hitting him at least three times even while he was on the floor.”

He added that there was “no realistic basis for self-defense” at that stage, and he did not realize that he had “available options” other than attacking the man.

“He had every opportunity to pause and see if his withdrawal would continue,” Judge Wain continued.

“After that, he flees the scene. I am satisfied that from the moment the defendant appears on CCTV following someone and threatening them with weapons and then carrying out the assault.”

He acknowledged an ‘element of provocation’, his previous good character, references to ‘speaking highly’ of him and pleading guilty in deciding his sentence.

Judge Wain added: “You must understand that bearing arms is a crime that these courts take seriously, especially in the presence of women and children.”

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