A MAN repeatedly hit another man in the head with a plastic mallet during a row over dog mess.

Mark Lezemore’s actions were described as “beyond stupid” and “highly dangerous” by a judge.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard Mr Lezemore, 57, became involved with Dean Smith after the complainant had a verbal exchange with the defendant’s partner.

This discussion related to dog mess which had been left on the ground near Mr Smith’s home in Verwood.

Prosecuting, Tom Wright said the defendant's partner had been walking a dog when a discussion broke out with the complainant on September 4 last year.

Mr Wright said she went away to get a bag and returned with the defendant to pick up the mess but further “discussions” took place.

The defendant approached Mr Smith with the “fairly substantial plastic mallet” in his hand.

A video recording of a large part, but not all of the interaction, was played in court.

Sentencing judge Recorder Emma Zeb said the footage showed the two men “squaring up to one another and exchanging verbal threats”.

She said the video “clearly shows” the defendant raise the mallet before Mr Smith delivers the first strike.

The defendant then grabbed the complainant’s shirt and struck him in the head four or five times with the mallet, the court heard.

The judge said photographs of the Mr Smith’s head showed a significant amount of blood pouring down the side of his face.

Recorder Zeb said it was a “serious attack” and the defendant arriving at the scene with a weapon in his hand was concerning.

She told the defendant the incident “escalated from the most straightforward of issues around dog mess”, but added it was “relatively short-lived and isolated”.

Mr Wright read a statement from Mr Smith which said he had plans to spend the afternoon out with family enjoying a roast dinner but he ended up in hospital.

The complainant said the incident, which was directly outside his home, had upset him but he said he would intervene again if a similar issue arose in the future.

He described it as a “situation that was blown out of proportion for whatever reason”.

Mr Smith said he suffered a “deep gash” to the top of his head and it took a week or so for him to recover.

Lezemore, of New Lane, Milford-on-Sea, admitted unlawful wounding and possession of an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing.

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Mitigating, Jonathan Underhill described his client’s actions as a “monumentally ridiculous piece of decision making” by an individual who had not troubled the criminal justice system since 1986 when he was a very young man.

“This was an entirely unnecessary encounter and confrontation that should never have happened and frankly should have been avoided,” Mr Underhill said.

He said his client had stated there was more interaction with the complainant prior and after what was caught on film.

The fight involved two men of similar age, the barrister said.

Mr Underhill said: “This was an utterly stupid thing to have done on the part of Mr Lezemore.”

Recorder Zeb said it was “beyond stupid” and “highly dangerous”.

She accepted there was a degree of provocation and the defendant was remorseful.

Lezemore, who works as a project manager for a highways company, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation.