Published: 15:32, 11 December 2020
| Updated: 15:34, 11 December 2020
Convicts who attacked a rehabilitation officer in public - smashing his glasses detaching his retina - have been jailed.
Seamus Dyson and Bobby Turner beat the community payback supervisor to the ground and then hit him in the face with a heavy object, moments after he left work in Ashford.
Dyson, 20 and Turner 18, targeted Craig Bourne at Ashford International Station two weeks before, barging, slapping and calling him “an old man.”
They were jailed for 30-months at Canterbury Crown Court today after Mr Bourne, 48 at the time he was assaulted, told how he fears for his safety.
The court heard Dyson and Turner, then 18 and 16, alongside one unidentified girl, assaulted Mr Bourne on the railway platform “just for the hell of being nasty”.
Thinking no more of the incident he would run into the trio two weeks later in Tannery Lane, where the pair became more sinister.
“One said ‘alright John’ - don’t you remember me?’ and no sooner had he recognised them they attacked him, Prosecutor James Cartwright explained.
“They both hit him straight in the face, he was hit very hard in the forehead with a heavy object, causing a laceration.
“Mr Bourne stumbled and fell to his knee and was either hit or kicked in the head and ribs. He got to his feet and noticed blood - the duo then ran away,” prosecutor James Cartwright said.
Mr Bourne suffered a detached retina causing blurred vision, a cut nose after his glasses were smashed into his face, nosebleed, black eyes and bruised ribs.
He was treated at Folkestone’s Royal Victoria Hospital with surgical glue and, since the attack fears being in public, lost confidence at work and had to buy a car to avoid commuting.
Community payback supervisors help manage convicts ordered by the court to undertake unpaid work.
Turner, who has 44 convictions and Dyson who has six, were not under Mr Bourne’s supervision at the time of the attacks, it is understood.
Dyson appeared via videolink from HMP Elmley after being sentenced for 30 months in a Young Offenders’ Institute for attempted robbery last year.
Turner, who appeared in person, had recently been released on license after serving a custodial term for attempted robbery.
In mitigation their barristers argued their clients had been raised in the care system and pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an early opportunity.
They also explained the duo were much younger and immature when the attacks were carried out in November 2018. Judge Rupert Lowe sympathised with their unsettled childhoods but stressed violence of this nature will land offenders in prison.
"If you repeatedly pick on, and beat up innocent members of the community, for absolutely no other reason other than the love of violence, you will be in prison for it."
“You all three came across him again two weeks later on his commute home and again recognised him and started speaking to him.
“You, then having made the recognition, beat him up.
“One of you at least used a weapon which caused deep lacerations to his forehead.
“He then stumbled and fell to his knees, he was then kicked and hit and as he staggered to his feet, you all, no doubt pleased with yourselves ran off.”
He continued: “As is well known, those who are in care are at much greater risk of going on to offend, as you have both done - I take that into account.
"Although you both must also understand that if you repeatedly pick on, and beat up innocent members of the community, for absolutely no other reason other than the love of violence, you will be in prison for it."
Dyson, of Peall Road, Croydon, was sentenced to 18 months custody.
Turner,of Bromley Road, London, was handed 12 months custody to be served consecutively with his current custodial spell.