THREE young men who took part in an attack in which their victim was kicked on the ground have been given community orders after a judge slammed the delay in their case as ‘a disgrace.’
Daniel Cryan, Ronnie O’Reilly and Jonathan Goodwin were originally charged with causing grievous bodily harm, but pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to an alternative charge of affray.
The charges followed a drunken attack on another young man in the street more than two-and-a-half years ago.
Cryan, 20, of Knowle Hill, Kenilworth; O’Reilly, 18, of Cornhill Grove, Kenilworth; and Goodwin, 19, of Villiers Road, Kenilworth, were all given community orders for 12 months.
They were also ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work and to pay their victim £400 each in compensation.
Prosecutor Amrisha Parathalingam said when the victim got back to his home in Kenilworth after a night out in December 2017, his step-father asked if he could hear a noise coming from nearby.
He went to investigate and walked along Dalehouse Lane to a grassed area where he saw some youths and recognised two of them as Cryan and Goodwin.
He also saw Cryan’s mother and spoke to her, but was then approached by the group and O’Reilly challenged him to a fight.
The young man was then set upon, during which he was headbutted by O’Reilly and punched by Goodwin before falling to the floor where he saw a shoe as if he was going to be stamped on.
An off-duty police officer who lived in the area had also been disturbed by the noise the group had been making, and went out and spoke to the mother of one of the youths who apologised.
He went home, but then became aware of more shouting, and when he went back out he said he saw the three defendants kicking their victim on the ground and intervened.
Following the attack the victim was taken to hospital where he had to have corrective surgery to his nose under general anaesthetic, and it was also suspected he had cracked ribs.
Miss Parathalingam added the following day he received a Facebook message from O’Reilly saying: “I’m so sorry for everything on my part last night.”
Observing that the case did not even get to court until nearly two years after the incident, Judge Peter Cooke asked: “How on earth did that happen?”
Nick Devine, for Cryan, explained that the three had been released ‘pending investigation,’ and there was then ‘an enormous delay,’ which he said was ‘a significant factor for such young defendants.’
The judge commented: “It is a disgrace in a case with very young defendants that the police can kick their heels for very nearly two years before getting the matter before the court.
“It simply will not do. The police ought to be in no doubt about the very dim view any judge takes about such a delay.
“You may all take it that it is not lost on me that a very long period of time has gone by since this offence, and I also have it in mind that not one of them has offended since that night in 2017.”
Of Cryan’s role, Mr Devine said: “He accepts completely that he involved himself in an affray. He went to the aid of Mr O’Reilly and joined in on the side of his friend.”
Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, for O’Reilly, said: “He got into an altercation with the complainant which ended in a physical confrontation. He would say he was grabbed by the complainant.”
And Rashad Mohammed, for Goodwin, said: “He accepts he had punched the complainant, and that he should have done something to defuse the situation.”
Sentencing the three, Judge Cooke told them: “The episode you engaged in when you were drunk in public, and not one of you was of an age when you had any business being drunk, was a disgraceful episode.
“You acted as a pack in assaulting this young man when he was sent to the ground and kicked.
“When he made his statement he was still feeling a level of residual anxiety although, and you ought to be thankful to him, he was putting pen to paper saying he acknowledged you had grown up since the incident. That was very decent of him.
“What is vital in understanding the way I am going to deal with this is the way you have conducted yourselves since this disgraceful episode. You have all got a grip of yourselves.”