Teen jailed for kicking man in the face

A TEENAGER who kicked a man in the face as he lay on the ground during a late night drunken attack in a takeaway has been jailed.

Ashley Palmer, of Burnet Close, Melksham, was one of four youths who launched a violent attack on two brothers following a night out in Melksham.

Sentencing three of the youths a judge at Swindon Crown Court yesterday, Judge Douglas Field jailed the 18-year-old saying his role in the incident was in a ‘completely different category’.

Palmer and 18-year-olds Sam Law, of Semington Road, Melksham and Oliver Dagger, of Sherwood Avenue, Melksham, all admitted actual bodily harm while a fourth man will be sentenced at a later date.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, said Christopher Downs had been out celebrating his brother Paul’s birthday in Trowbridge on Saturday March 15.

She said they went into Chicoland to get some food on the way home and saw a group of youths who were intoxicated.

The court then saw footage from the CCTV system at the takeaway which showed in full the attack on the brothers.

Palmer and the fourth man were seen goading and abusing the brothers before launching an attack on them.

After landing a punch on Christopher Downs which sent him to the ground Palmer stood over him for a few seconds before kicking him to the head as he started to get up, knocking him out.

Meanwhile the fourth man attacked Paul Downs and was joined by Law and Dagger who each landed punches on the victim, leaving him on the ground where the fourth man stamped on him.

As a result of the attack Christopher Downs suffered a cut lip which required stitching and a lump to the back of hi s head.

His brother sustained a whiplash type injury, a superficial wound to the right eyebrow and skin loss to the back of his neck.

Alex Daymond, for Palmer, said his client was only 17 at the time of the attack and admitted what he had done at the first opportunity.

He said he had never been in trouble with the police before and was full of remorse for what he had done.

Palmer was in the final year of a plumbing apprenticeship which he would not be able to complete were he jailed.

James Lester, for Law, said his client had not been actively involved in the initial part of the incident only joining in with one punch when the attack was underway.

“He had a misconceived belief that he was protecting his friend,” he told the court.

Law, he said, was in employment and completing a level three NVQ in carpentry.

Moses Tawo, for Dagger, said his client also only landed one punch and also thought he was acting in defence of his friend. He said he worked as a pay clerk for the Ministry of Defence.

Jailing Palmer for eight months Judge Douglas Field told him: “You will know you are in a completely different category.

“It is quite clear that you participated almost from the word go in the taunting of these two brothers and that kick to the head when he was down causing him to lose consciousness takes this matter to another level altogether.”

He told Law and Dagger to do 150 hours of unpaid work, observe 7pm to 7am curfews for eight weeks and pat £150 compensation and £100 costs.

The fourth man, Nathan Palmer, 19, of Avonfield, Holt, admitted two counts of ABH and will be sentenced on Wednesday December 10.

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