No jail for father in mistaken identity attack

�A father who attacked a child’s dad in the mistaken belief he was threatening his son with a knife has been spared jail.

Scott Hyams, 38, reacted with fury when he heard his eight-year-old was being apprehended by Derek Clarke in a park and ran after him swearing and wielding a lump of concrete.

Mr Clarke had accused the boy and his two friends of stealing his nine-year-old cycle in Brampton Park, East Ham. But Hyams, who lived nearby, was told his boy was being threatened with a knife, the Old Bailey heard on Friday. He ran to the scene and started swearing at Mr Clarke before pushing him on the afternoon of July 19 last year.

Mr Clarke and his son fled but delivery driver Hyams ran after them.

Hyams, of Denbigh Road, East Ham, was cleared of possessing an offensive weapon, a baseball bat, and of hitting Mr Clarke following a short trial. He admitted carrying the concrete as a weapon and affray.


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When police arrived Hyams was still shouting and had to be calmed. He told officers he genuinely believed Mr Clarke was carrying a knife as he thought he saw something shiny in his hand.

Giving him a four-month community order, with an electronic tag, Judge Gerald Gordon said Hyams denied hitting Mr Clarke but accepted he pushed him.

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“Such behaviour in public really cannot be tolerated because it can lead to all sorts of other things,” he added.

A curfew order bans Hyams leaving his house between 8.30pm and 5am for four months, and he must pay �100 towards costs.

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