Published: 00:01, 30 July 2014
Two yobs who carried out “random and unprovoked” attacks on innocent people have been branded an "unacceptable blight on Canterbury".
Drunken jobless railway worker Landon Bruce and shop manager Jonathon Proctor, both 21, were jailed after leaving three people nursing injuries – including one victim losing his front teeth.
The pair – who were out in the city centre with a gang of youths in September last year– also attacked a man who was with a group handing out leaflets ”because they looked gay”.
Now Judge Simon James has told Bruce, of Vauxhall Avenue and Proctor, of Gordon Road, both Canterbury: “Canterbury is a small city with a justified international reputation, attracting people from all over the world to study and enjoy its cosmopolitan atmosphere and its many bars and pubs.
“It ought to be a place where people come and enjoy themselves. Yet, with a depressing regularity, those that do find themselves confronted by yobs like you at night.
“You were drunk and apparently intent on violence and willing to attack anyone walking past. You were both involved in gratuitous and unprovoked violence.
“It seems to me that people are entitled to walk the streets in safety without being attacked...whatever the time of night. Conduct like yours is an unacceptable blight on our city. It cannot be tolerated.”
Canterbury Crown Court heard how Proctor had initially attacked Nathanial Vaughan-Brown who was on his way to a nightclub along the High Street.
The judge told him: “You were clearly spoiling for a fight and under a pretext that he had called you a name you punched him with sufficient force you knocked him to the floor, causing his lip to split and knocking his two front teeth out.”
Later in the evening Mr Vaughan-Brown’s friend, Callum Frittal confronted Proctor’s gang about the earlier attack.
Proctor and Bruce then took him to the ground and while he was held on the ground he was “punched repeatedly and stamped on” by the thugs, the court heard.
Judge James told the two: “This was a cowardly attack of two on one and although his injuries weren’t, in the context, serious, the repeated punching and stamping of a defenceless man while he was prone on the ground is indicative of an intention of causing more serious harm.”
Not content with that, Bruce then picked on a complete stranger, Alexander Clapson who was with a group handing out leaflets.
The judge: “The only reason was you and your group took a random dislike to him and his friends, who, according to you, looked gay.
“That was the only invitation you needed to use more violence, “ he added.
Defence lawyers claimed neither man had any recollection of the violence they had handed out because of the amount of alcohol they had consumed.
The yobs, who each admitted two assault charges, were jailed for a year and Proctor was also ordered to pay £750 compensation to his two victims with two months.
CCTV footage of some of the incidents were shown to the court and the judge told them: “I am sure that in the cold and sober light of day you were both shocked, as any normal person would be, by the extent and nature of the violence on the film.
“And I am prepared to accept that you are now both genuinely remorseful for your actions on that night– but deterrent sentences are called for.”
More by this authorPaul Hooper