A MORBIDLY obese thug was handed a soft sentence because he was too fat to survive in prison.
Peter Owens Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who weighs a whopping 40 STONE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ was fit enough to batter two men with a baseball bat but deemed too fat and unhealthy to serve a full jail term.
Owens, 38, suffers from diabetes, angina, incontinence, septicaemia, tumours and ulcers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ conditions which he previously claimed earned him Ã‚Â£2,000 a month in benefits.
Despite using a wheelchair to get around, he attacked two men with a bat after bursting into their home Ã¢â‚¬â€œ leaving one needing stitches for a head injury.
Teesside Crown Court heard that Owens attacked Leslie Surtees and James Thornton in a house in August 2007, screaming: Ã¢â‚¬Å“You called my son a nonce.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mr Thornton suffered an injury to his arm after being hit with the bat and Mr Surtees needed stitches to repair a gaping head wound.
The punishment for his crime usually attracts a sentence of anything from a two to a four-year stretch in jail.
He had also breached a suspended sentence which would ordinarily have led to a four-month sentence.
But judge Peter Armstrong showed Owens mercy when he reduced the sentence to just 15 months because of his health problems, related to his obesity.
Owens also suffers sleep apnoea, a condition which means he could stop breathing in his sleep.
Judge Peter Armstrong said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“You present a sentencing problem in that these are serious offences, and have to result in a custodial sentence.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am going to reduce the sentence considerably because of what I have read about you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The court heard Owens Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a father-of-three and stepfather-of-four, from Hartlepool Ã¢â‚¬â€œ has dozens of convictions on his record dating back to 1987.