Michael Anning prosecutes in Chelmsley Wood vendetta

Tue, 26 Jul 2011

A MAN has been jailed for carrying out a campaign of violence against a Birmingham boxing trainer after his dad fell out with the sportsman.
Stephen Lawlor knifed John Costello, the founder of Chelmsley Wood Amateur Boxing Club, smashed the front windows of his home, rammed the back of his car while he drove with his 16-year-old son and threatened to kill his 21-year-old daughter and punched her in the face.
Warwick Crown Court heard that more than 20 complaints had been made to police from both sides, before Lawlor’s offences.
The 27-year-old, of Lyncroft Road, Tyseley, pleaded guilty to charges of malicious wounding, assault, dangerous driving and two of causing criminal damage at Warwick Crown Court.
The first incident was a knife attack at the Dubliner Pub, in Digbeth, on January 15, which has left Mr Costello with a damaged tendon in one of his fingers, affecting his boxing.
Prosecutor Michael Anning said the reason for Lawlor’s campaign was not clear, but his father Jimmy had once trained and boxed with Mr Costello and they had fallen out.
Lawlor was arrested for the knife attack on April 9 but claimed he was not involved and was granted bail.
That evening Lawlor smashed Mr Costello’s windows in as the boxing trainer watched TV with his family at their home in Marston Green.
Lawlor wore a hooded top and was armed with a baseball bat
The gang also smashed up a car belonging to the girlfriend of one of Mr Costello’s sons.
Then, on June 17, Lawlor rammed the back of Mr Costello’s car three times with his BMW as the boxing trainer drove along Brays Road towards Sheldon with his son Joseph.
Five days later Lawlor swerved his BMW towards Mr Costello’s daughter Louise and another of his sons in Marston Green.
They stepped back to avoid being hit.
Lawlor then got out of the car and threatened to kill Louise, punching her in the face and then aiming a kick at her face which she blocked with her arms.
When he was arrested Lawlor, who had convictions for offences including dangerous driving and attempted robbery at a post office, denied all the offences.
He claimed Mr Costello had reversed into him and that Louise had tripped and fallen after they had ‘exchanged words.’

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