Published: 17:00, 25 June 2014
Two drunken thugs have been locked up for a vicious assault in which a man was kicked unconscious outside a Maidstone bar.
Shami Chapman lured victim John Quinnell out of The Muggleton Inn in the High Street before Douglas Franks and another man attacked him.
Sentencing Chapman, 21, and Franks, 20, to two years each, a judge told them: "You don't need to hear adjectives such as vicious and cowardly from me to know it doesn't do justice to it.
"This attack could have killed him. Less violent attacks frequently do kill young men and people face charges of manslaughter and murder."
Recorder David Jeremy QC also demanded a written explanation from the Crown Prosecution Service as to why there was not a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent instead of the lesser charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Maidstone Crown Court heard there had been resentment over contact Mr Quinnell had with a girl.
Soon after midnight, Chapman sent a message to him in the bar saying he wanted to see him outside.
Chapman, Franks and the other man were waiting. Chapman struck the first blow and the victim was then set about by all three.
"He fell to the floor where he was repeatedly kicked in the head by all three of you, to the point where he was unconscious," said the judge.
"He couldn't defend himself. He didn't try. It was a gang attack. There was sustained punching and kicking. It was three onto one."
Mr Quinnell suffered a fractured eye socket, double vision and bruising.
Recorder Jeremy added it was "a life-changing three minutes - not just for you".
Chapman, of Oak Trees, Maidstone, and Franks, of Cogate Road, Paddock Wood, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Submitting a suspended sentence could be imposed, Philip Sinclair, for Franks, said the father of a newly-born child was very drunk on the night of the attack and could not remember much about it.
"His life has moved on," he said. "He has changed his lifestyle entirely. He has stopped drinking because he was shocked by his behaviour that night.
"He became involved in a row which was not his. For about 30 seconds he took part in a vicious attack. He has already learnt his lesson."
Mr Sinclair questioned if the victim would prefer custody to be imposed or "a significant compensation order".
He added: "The public outrage of offences of this type can be met by a prison sentence that is suspended with a very high compensation order."
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