Harpenden woman lured sex offence suspect to violent ambush

A HARPENDEN mother and two men have been jailed following an incident in which a man was brutally attacked because they suspected him of being a sex offender.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Deborah Chapman lured a man, who had been accused of committing sexual offences, to her home in Noke Shot, where her son Jason Chapman and another man, Michael Keep, launched the attack.

The victim needed 60 to 80 stitches and was left with a permanent scar on his chin, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and three broken fingers, which left his hand permanently deformed.

He spent 12 days in hospital following the attack on December 18 last year.

Herts Police carried out an investigation into the claims made against the victim, but no action was ever taken.


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The court was told how Deborah Chapman was woken up at 3am by three people who had made the allegations against the victim. She subsequently called him round, claiming she was ill, and he was then attacked by Keep and Jason Chapman.

They hit him to the floor and he was kicked and punched in what Judge Stephen Warner said was a “sustained, repeated and merciless attack”.

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Deborah Chapman was convicted of wounding with intent by jury. Her son, 22, and Keep, 25, both also of Noke Shot, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Jason Chapman was also due to be sentenced for grievous bodily harm on November 7, 2009, in which a man suffered a broken shoulder.

Carl Woolf, for Deborah Chapman, said that although she made the call, she played no part in the violence and called for an ambulance for the victim.

For Jason Chapman, Andrew Kerry said that he had sent a letter to the judge apologising.

“It was an aggressive outburst fuelled by alcohol and drugs. He was shocked by the extent of the injuries and put him in the recovery position to aid his breathing after the assault.”

Chloe Binding, defending Michael Keep, said he had been on drugs and asked for his guilty plea to be taken into consideration.

The judge sentenced Jason Chapman, who had 10 pervious convictions, to a total of seven years and three months.

Keep who had 13 previous convictions, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection. The judge said he would have received a six year sentence had he not received an indefinite term.

Deborah Chapman was sentenced to six and half years and received no discount as she pleaded not guilty.

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