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Father jailed for drunken attack on friend

A thug who launched a vicious unprovoked attack on a friend he had invited back to his home has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Darryn Coomber was so drunk he could not remember the assault which left Robin Rooke with a fractured skull, a court heard.

Coomber, of Criol Lane, Shadoxhurst, Ashford, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.

A judge told the 35-year-old father: “It may be you do not recognise the man who carried out this offence but it was you and you must take responsibility for it.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Coomber and Mr Rooke had been out together in August 2006 and both had alcohol and cocaine.

Judge Jeremy Carey said it was plain Coomber, a habitual cocaine abuser, was “very much the worse for wear” when the pair went to his home in Eastry, near Sandwich.

Things were normal for a while but after Coomber returned from going upstairs his demeanour changed.

“He is a big man and a strong man,” said the judge. “The victim was a youth and substantially less robust. For no obvious reason, he attacked the victim.

“He knocked him down and seized from the work surface a grill pan and hit him over the head with it. The victim was understandably scared out of his wits and tried to get away.

“He failed to do so as the defendant set about him with a purpose and, in a sustained way, assaulted him viciously.

“The assault was seen by neighbours. I have read their statements which graphically describe this attack.

“It must have been a truly horrifying experience for those who saw it and an even more frightening experience for the victim.

“They described kicking by the defendant all over the victim’s body, including his head, for a period of five to ten minutes.

“The victim was heard to say he was too frightened to stand up, because he knew he would be knocked to the ground once more.”

The attack only ended when witnesses intervened.

Mr Rooke was taken to the QEQM hospital in Margate, where he was treated for a displaced fracture of the skull. Extensive head cuts needed 12 stitches.

Coomber had been out of trouble and was working hard and supporting his partner when catastrophe struck and changed their lives, said his lawyer Catherine Donnelly.

His stepson was seriously injured. They moved to a home which was purpose built on one floor.

Miss Donnelly said of the attack: “He seemed to have entered into some altered state of psychosis. He has a problem with alcohol and drugs.

“This was unusual and out of character because they were friends. We are left with something that is really inexplicable.”

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