Convicted father and son

A father and son have been convicted and jailed following a violent assault on a woman in Crawley, which all began at a petrol station in the town.

Richard Chapman Senior and Richard Chapman Junior were involved in an altercation with a man at the Co-op forecourt in Balcombe Road and then followed a vehicle back to an address in the Three Bridges area.

There, accompanied by a third unidentified man, they assaulted a woman outside her property with weapons including an axe.

Chapman Senior was arrested within days and was convicted in June 2022, but Chapman Junior was at large until he was arrested by officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU).

Both men were charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in public and have now both been jailed.

DC Jenny Balmont, from Crawley CID, said the incident happened at about 10.30am on July 2, 2021. She said: “This was a highly distressing incident carried out by a group of three hooded men carrying weapons. The victim was left with injuries and in fear of her life. So we are pleased that the main two men responsible, Richard Chapman Senior and Richard Chapman Junior, have both been brought to justice. It demonstrates our determination and teamwork to catch dangerous offenders and take them off the streets to prevent them causing further harm.”

Chapman Senior was arrested on July 5, 2021 and remanded in custody. He admitted the charges and was imprisoned for eight years after appearing at Lewes Crown Court on June 29, 2022. The court also imposed an extended sentence, which means Chapman Senior will also have to serve an additional four years on licence after his release from prison.

He must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he can be considered for release on parole.

Chapman Junior was at large until the SEU made the arrest on August 23 last year. He also admitted the charges and was imprisoned for four and a half years when he appeared before Lewes Crown Court on December 12, 2022.

The courts imposed restraining orders on both men not to contact the victim or another member of her family for 10 years.