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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Tunbridge Wells landlord Matthew Liles jailed over racist attack on two men at Crystal Palace Inn

17 December 2013
by Keith Hunt
A pub landlord who joined in a racist attack on two men on New Year's Eve and then glassed another victim while on bail has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
 
Matthew Liles was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for wounding with intent, nine months for assault causing actual bodily harm and three months for perverting the course of justice.
 
The 25-year-old, who ran the Crystal Palace Inn, in Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, admitted the offences.
Matthew Liles ran the Crystal Palace Inn in Tunbridge Wells

Matthew Liles ran the Crystal Palace Inn in Tunbridge Wells

Carer Shannon Boughton, of Thomas Street, Tunbridge Wells, and Jamie Waldock, of Kenilworth, Andrew Road, Tunbridge Wells, both denied racially aggravated actual bodily harm and perverting the course of justice, but were convicted.
 
Boughton, 20, was sentenced to 18 months' youth custody and 22-year-old Waldock to 18 months' imprisonment.
 
Maidstone Crown Court heard Dharmesh Desai and Muhammed Waleed had been drinking at Liles' pub on New Year's Eve this year and left speaking in their "mother tongue" as they headed for a kebab shop.
"Punches were thrown and kicks were administered in the course of a racially aggravated attack..." - Judge Philip Statman
 
Judge Philip Statman said Boughton complained about the two men not speaking English and said they should "go back to their country".
 
The judge said: "I pause to observe that we live, if I may say so for the better, in a racially mixed community enriched by the culture and background of those who come to live in the UK from other parts of the world and is an important integrated part of our community.
 
"What followed from your comments, Miss Boughton, was a wholly unprovoked attack upon Mr Desai and Mr Waleed, during which punches were thrown and kicks were administered in the course of a racially aggravated attack."
 
At one stage, Boughton took off one of her shoes and struck Mr Waleed over the head with it.
 
Judge Statman said Boughton's friend, Samantha White, was horrified by what she saw. She helped the victims and stayed with them until the emergency services arrived.
 
Miss ?White made a statement but Liles, Boughton and Waldock all tried to get her to change her account, suggesting her memory and judgement were clouded by alcohol. But she stuck to her guns.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

Liles was on bail on March 23 when he got into a violent argument with Paul Bachelor at a pub and thrust a champagne flute into his face, leaving an ugly wound below his ear needing many stitches.
 
The court was packed with friends and family as the judge said all three defendants came from respectable backgrounds and all had excellent work records.
 
"All of you are capable of behaving in a decent and proper way," he said. "All of you have lost a great deal."
 
Boughton was the carer for a woman who had the most appalling difficulties, it was said. A plethora of testimonials were before the court for all three.
Judge Philip Statman at Maidstone Crown Court

Judge Philip Statman sits at Maidstone Crown Court

Judge Statman said he had most concern about Liles, who would never again be in the position of running licensed premises.
 
The wounding offence, he said, was grave. There might have been a small degree of provocation.
 
The judge expressed the hope all three would be given help with anger management and alcohol abuse while in custody.


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