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20th Jun, 2021

Man with learning difficulties left with potentially fatal head injury after unprovoked and repeated attack

A MAN with learning difficulties was left with a potentially fatal head injury after being subjected to an unprovoked and repeated attack in the street.

And after Luke Kyberd was granted bail, despite having later threatened a witness, he launched a second assault on the same victim, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.

Kyberd, 26, of Lambourn Crescent, Leamington, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, attempting to pervert the course of justice and assault.

Prosecutor Ian Windridge said Kyberd’s victim was a young man who had autism and learning difficulties, and who lived in supported accommodation in Radford Road, Leamington.

In August 2019 Kyberd was helping his brother move a sofa into a flat in Radford Road when the young man came over and said hello, at which Kyberd accused him of being ‘a f***ing grass.’

Kyberd punched the 19-year-old hard to the head, knocking him into a nearby bush, and then rained four or five more punches at him before his brother, Paul Kyberd, pulled him away.

The victim got up and began to walk away, but Kyberd ran after him, grabbed him by the throat and hit him again before being pulled away for a second time.

The man went to a friend Andrew Clarke’s home on the Sydenham estate, where he spent the night.

But when he returned to the supported accommodation the next day he was unsteady on his feet and slurring his words, although there was no sign he had been drinking.

He was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered bleeding between the skull and the brain.

Surgeons said it had ‘the potential to be fatal’ if he had not undergone emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain..

Two days later Paul Kyberd’s girlfriend, who had seen the attack, was on her way to work when Kyberd approached her and threatened that if she or Paul made statements to the police there would be ‘consequences.’

When Kyberd was arrested he first gave his brother’s details and claimed it was Paul who had carried out the attack.

In September last year, on bail after pleading not guilty and awaiting trial, Kyberd was out in breach of his electronically-tagged curfew.

He was with Mr Clarke when they saw the victim in the Pump Room Gardens and told him to go with them to Newbold Comyn where Kyberd punched him, knocking him into some bushes.

Putting his hands round the young man’s throat, Kyberd said he did not want to go to prison and warned him not to tell the police or they would come after him again.

But the attack was reported, and when the victim was taken to hospital it was at first thought he had a fractured eye socket, but an x-ray established there was no new fracture.

Mr Windridge, who said Mr Clarke had also been charged but no evidence was offered against him, added that Kyberd had previous convictions for offences including assault and robbery.

Simon Hunka, defending, said Kyber also had learning difficulties and was found to suffer from social anxiety disorder and an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

Mr Hunka said while on bail Kyberd had moved to Lincoln with his girlfriend, who had given him a degree of stability, but in the summer of last year he woke to find she had passed away during the night.

He returned to Leamington, which he has since described as his biggest mistake, and ‘returned to his negative ways.’

Jailing Kyberd on Monday (February 15), Judge Barry Berlin told him: “You set about him in a violent drunken rage. Your brother pulled you off, but you had not had enough, and you attacked him again.

“You have emotionally unstable personality disorder. That suggests dangerousness, rather than anything else, because it makes you more impulsive.”

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