No prison for man who stabbed Harold Hill housemate in ‘petty’ washing up argument
- Credit: Archant
Jason Da Costa nearly killed his housemate when he stabbed him in the torso during a “petty” and “stupid” argument over the washing up but received a suspended prison sentence today.
Da Costa, 44, will not go to prison for stabbing Colin Payne, 41, with a carving knife after the dispute in their home in Kingsbridge Close, Harold Hill, on December 2 last year.
Judge Ian Darling said: “The circumstances of that offence were in origin petty and stupid. The notion a disagreement about levels of cleanliness can result in someone nearly being killed astounds me it is astonishing.”
The defendant had a “long” history of criminal offences and was released from prison in 2012, the court heard.
He was initially charged with GBH but the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to the lesser offence of unlawful wounding.
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Da Costa failed to attend sentencing earlier this morning after he went missing from his sister’s house on Monday and “relapsed” in his alcohol addiction, a court heard.
Da Costa had not drunk alcohol for 20 months but arrived at court nearly two hours late with a can of beer in his hand, defence lawyer Achilleas Achillea said.
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“He has been drinking. He tells me that over the last few days he has relapsed. He had a can with him when I saw him this morning,” Mr Achillea said.
He had been released on bail after pleading guilty three months ago and ordered to stay at his sisters in Ruthven Avenue, Waltham Cross.
“He’s completed those conditions until Monday this week. It seems clear he does need some help,” the defence lawyer added.
Da Costa, whose mother had flown in from America to support him, told the judge: “I can do better. At the moment I need a bit of support.”
Judge Darling said: “I’m prepared to accept that a combination of his mental health issues, the prospect of going to prison, potentially for a significant amount of time, and the well meaning support, which may have been misconstrued as pressure, may have created this lapse.
“There were green shoots and he appeared to be turning his life around. The alcohol was going away and the medication was working.”
He handed Da Costa a suspended sentence in the hope he can be rehabilitated outside of prison.
The judge said: “If I have got this wrong I am going to put it right.”
Da Costa was handed a 12-month prison sentence to be suspended for two years.
He must also stay at his sister’s house, where he previously absconded from, between 8pm and 6am, undergo a behavioural course and pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Pick up a copy of Friday’s Recorder for more on the news.
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