A MAN who was brutally attacked as he and his partner walked home from a Warwick pub ended up with a shoe imprint on his face from where he had been stamped on.
But after a judge heard it was now more than two-and-a-half years since the incident, and the two attackers had not been in any further trouble, they escaped being jailed.
Zak Weston had pleaded guilty to the assault as long ago as September 2017, with Dorian Francis pleading guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court, after originally denying the charge.
Francis, 25, of Portobello Way, Warwick, was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Weston, 24, of Winslow Close, Leamington, who was given more credit for his earlier guilty plea, was sentenced to 16 months suspended for 12 months, with a rehabilitation activity.
In addition Judge Sylvia de Bertodano ordered Francis to pay £400 compensation and Weston £200 compensation to their victim.
Prosecutor Tim Sapwell said in August 2016 the victim and his partner went out for a meal at an Indian restaurant in Warwick, and then to the Elephant and Castle pub in Emscote Road.
While they were there, Francis and Weston arrived and, sitting at a nearby table, became ‘intrusive and aggressive,’ asking questions about their relationship.
The couple ignored them, and left to walk home, but the two defendants then also left, and the victim began to feel uncomfortable so stopped to light a cigarette, in the hope that they would carry on past.
But instead Francis approached him and asked for a cigarette.
When he refused, Francis would not take no for an answer, and someone in a nearby flat saw one of the defendants punch the victim, knocking him to the ground.
They then launched a joint attack on him, during which they kicked and stamped on his head, knocking him unconscious, and his partner was also struck as she tried to protect him.
When the witness ran outside to help the victim, who had bruising and grazing and the imprint of a shoe on his face, his attackers ran off, and the police and an ambulance were called.
The defendants were not arrested until January 2017, and Weston said he had been very drunk, but claimed he would remember if he had beaten someone up, and blamed Francis.
But Francis blamed Weston for the attack, claiming he had then tried to help the victim who had pulled him down, at which he had acted in self-defence.
For Francis, Lee Masters said: “He still can’t understand how this came about. The only explanation is alcohol.
Martin Groves, for Weston, said: “There have been mental health problems, and he would accept that at the time he was self-medicating, drinking too much and taking cocaine at weekends and cannabis every day.”