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Home Dartford News Article
Alfie Letchford was caught bare-chested on CCTV cameras on a rainy evening in Dartford town centre chasing down Michael Jali-Wobson as he tried to get away.
As the drunk 20-year-old yob vowed to kill his victim, friends urged him: "Go on, do it."
Mr Jali-Wobson was in court to see Letchford locked up for a total of four years and 10 months.
He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for racially aggravated actual bodily harm and an additional 16 months for a burglary he committed while on bail.
Judge Martin Joy branded the assault by Letchford, of Phoenix Place, Dartford, as "deeply
He told him: "Mr Jali-Wobson was undoubtedly in fear of being killed by you. That would not be an exaggeration. To get away from you was his good fortune.
"Because he had a different colour skin to you and different ethnicity, you decided to seriously assault him."
Mr Jali-Wobson had been to work on January 29 this year and arrived by train at Dartford just after 8pm when he saw a group of youngsters.
They followed him towards the Orchard shopping centre. They passed him and Letchford, then 19, turned and confronted him.
Prosecutor Dickon Reid told Maidstone Crown Court that Letchford went towards the victim with a clenched fist shouting: "Let me do it."
He ignored a voice from the group telling him not to and struck Mr Jali-Wobson "full force" in the left eye. Mr Jali-Wobson dropped his iPad and Letchford punched him four or five times more.
In a four-letter rant, he said: "Let me go. I hate black people. I will go and kill him. Go back to your own country."
"While you were fighting drunk, you were in full possession of your faculties and they were directed solely to the abhorrent attack. He was cornered like an animal. The sole reason for this was your hatred of someone because of the colour of his skin and ethnicity..." - Judge Martin Joy
Mr Jali-Wobson struggled to see out of his injured eye as he fled. Letchford took off his shirt and ran after him with the mob following.
Terrified, Mr Jali-Wobson rang the police on his mobile phone. He tried to get into DA1 nightclub, but it was locked. CCTV film showed him circling a parked car as Letchford pursued him.
He eventually managed to run to the safety of Sainsbury's supermarket, where there was a security guard.
Letchford still followed, threatening: "I am going to kill you." He then ran off.
He continued to make vile threats when arrested, but later admitted the offences.
While on bail, Letchford and another man burgled a house in Sutton-at-Hone. The family were in bed on September 3 when access was gained through an open window.
Timothy Gunning was awoken in the early hours by a noise outside and saw the family's Volkswagen Golf being taken.
He discovered there had been an untidy search of the house and property was missing. The car and the property were together worth £10,000.
Letchford told police he drove the car to Temple Hill and abandoned it, but it was never found.
Judge Joy told Letchford: "The facts are stark and abhorrent. It may be you had a lot to drink, but you knew exactly what you were doing.
"You were chasing him. While you were fighting drunk, you were in full possession of your faculties and they were directed solely to the abhorrent attack.
"He was cornered like an animal. The sole reason for this was your hatred of someone because of the colour of his skin and ethnicity.
"This was a grave offence. You were bent on extreme violence and serious injury."
Thaiza Khan, defending, said there was no mistaking it was an unpleasant incident.
"He puts his hands up and throws himself on the mercy of the court," she said. "He is extremely ashamed of his actions."
Miss Khan said Letchford, who wept in the dock, did not hold racist views and had friends with ethnic origins.
She said Elmley Prison released Letchford in error while he was on remand, but he contacted his solicitor and was returned to custody.
"This is his first time in custody," she added. "It has been a wake-up call."
Mr Jali-Wobson said in a statement he was left shocked and scared by the attack.
"I believed I was going to be killed," he said. "I thought the attack was because of my ethnicity. This is the first time I have experienced racism in the 18 years I have lived in England. "I was totally shocked."
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