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Mehmet Husnu jailed for GBH in Miller Avenue, Canterbury

by Paul Hooper and Gerry Warren

A father knocked unconscious in front of his children during a row over a noisy student party has told of the lasting effects of the attack on him and his young family.

Alvaro Zanlorenze found himself facing an uneasy confrontation the morning after the thumping sounds had kept his family awake through the night.

Phone footage captured the moment the 40-year-old was punched to the ground and the chilling screams of his wife as she rushed to his side.

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Alvaro Zanlorenze suffered a broken jaw in the attack
Alvaro Zanlorenze suffered a broken jaw in the attack

His terrified 11-year-old son was also filmed jumping out of a car and running towards his injured father.

Mr Zanlorenze spoke of the ordeal this week as his attacker – 22-year-old thug Mehmet Husnu – was jailed for nine years and four months after admitting causing grievous bodily harm and a separate brutal assault.

Canterbury Crown Court heard the attack stemmed from the fallout of the student bash in the city’s Miller Avenue in October 2016.

Mr Zanlorenze’s family were kept awake through the night by the party, with his wife sharing video clips on Facebook to show the extent of the loud noise.

The next morning, at about 10.40am, students from the party started filming Mr Zanlorenze and his family as they got into their car to go out for the day.

A verbal confrontation erupted before Husnu – who was dating one of the students – punched Mr Zanlorenze in the face, breaking his jaw and leaving him unconscious on the ground.

As he lay dazed, Husnu stood over him saying: “Get up, come to me, get up.”

The attacked was witnessed by Mr Zanlorenze’s two sons, who were aged six and 11 at the time.

“I’m not a fighter and just wasn’t expecting it,” he said.

“Everything went black because I was knocked out, which I have never experienced before.

“It was a very frightening experience, especially for my wife and boys to see me unconscious on the ground.

“My jaw was broken in two places and it was very painful. I spent three days in hospital and had to have a month off work.

An X-ray showing the extent of Mr Zanlorenze's injuries
An X-ray showing the extent of Mr Zanlorenze's injuries

“It’s still not 100% and I can’t even bite into an apple.

“It just feels fragile and I’m even scared to play with my kids.”

Mr Zanlorenze, who moved to the UK from Brazil in 2001, needed screws and a metal plate inserted in his jaw, but says the lasting effects of the attack are not just physical.

He and his family have even moved out of the city and to a nearby village because of the turmoil it has caused.

“My wife and kids especially have suffered a lot and we even thought about going back to Brazil, but despite everything, we still feel at home here,” he said.

“I don’t work at night because you get a lot of drunk people coming out of clubs and I don’t want to feel that pain if someone was to punch me again.

“My youngest one had to have counselling help at his school afterwards because he just didn’t feel safe.

“It left him with psychological problems, but fortunately the school has been very good and he is much better now.

“But it has changed our lives forever and it will be some time before we get over it.”

Mehmet Husnu was jailed for more than nine years
Mehmet Husnu was jailed for more than nine years

Mr Lanlorenze only learned that Husnu, of Willow Avenue, Faversham, had been convicted of a second vicious assault when told by the Kentish Gazette.

“I think it is safer for everyone that he is locked up,” he said.

“He is a big guy but cannot seem to control his behaviour, which is frightening.

“To punch someone once might be a mistake, but to do it again is a choice. Nine years is a long time, but I just hope he can learn from it and think next time.”

While on bail for the Miller Avenue assault, Husnu displayed his brutality once more during a savage road rage attack in Whitstable.

The violent nightclub bouncer left his victim with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket after repeatedly slamming his head in a car door.

Bloodied and dazed Simon Collingwood was then left slumped in his BMW for almost two hours before paramedics arrived at the scene in Borstal Hill, Whitstable.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that in October last year Clair Turner had gone to collect Mr Collingwood – her partner - from a train station in Canterbury, intending to drop him at his car parked nearby.

Prosecutor Bridget Todd said that on the journey home, Ms Turner was aware of a woman in a silver car gesticulating at her but ignored her and carried on up Borstal Hill in Whitstable, followed by Mr Collingwood’s BMW.

Ms Turner said the other woman had been sticking her fingers up and shouting, so when stopped at a roundabout questioned her about her actions.

The other woman claimed Ms Turner had been laughing at her, and as a confrontation ensued she was pulled away by Husnu, who was also in the other car.

Mehmet Husnu was jailed for more than nine years
Mehmet Husnu was jailed for more than nine years

Ms Turner turned her car around and went to speak to Mr Collingwood, who was in his car following her.

But before she could get there Husnu put his fist through the open window and “just flew at Simon”, Ms Turner said.

The prosecutor told how Husnu then grabbed the car door, opened it and repeatedly slam it against Mr Collingwood’s legs and head.

Ms Turner later told police how Husnu picked Mr Collingwood up and then punched him several times as a member of the public pleaded: “Don’t you think that’s enough – you’re going to kill him?”

Husnu then replied: “Good, because I want to kill him.”

Mr Collingwood was left unable to hold his head up and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head. Husnu only stopped when he realised the episode was being watched by others.

Ms Turner said they waited half-an-hour for the police to arrive and two hours for an ambulance.

Apart from the fractured cheekbone and eye socket, Mr Collingwood also needed stitches to wounds over his eyes and forehead and suffered nerve and ligament damage to his ankle.

"My youngest one had to have counselling help at his school afterwards because he just didn't feel safe" - Alvaro Zanlorenze

Max Reeves, defending, said Husnu was now "extremely remorseful" and had expressed his desire to apologise to his victims.

“He makes no excuses for his behaviour,” he added.

Sentencing Husnu, the Judge, Recorder Cairns Nelson QC, said: “I am astonished to hear how it took two hours before an ambulance arrived.”

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We can confirm that we were called to this incident by police and there was no indication that the patient had any immediately life-threatening symptoms at the time of the call.

“However, we acknowledge it took us much longer than we would like to attend and we are very sorry for any delay which can result due to high demand.

“We would invite anyone with concerns to contact us so we can discuss them in more detail.”

Recorder Cairns Nelson QC told Husnu: “Mr and Mrs Zanlorenze were outside their home with their children when you approached them.

"Some of your friends, including your girlfriend, began videoing the family and there was some argument about that.

“Mr Zanlorenze then asked his wife to phone the police, and you approached him and without any provocation and without any warning you poleaxed him, knocked him out.

"His jaw was broken in two places.

“He needed surgery as plates were inserted and he spent a number of days in hospital and in his impact statement he said that somehow he felt ashamed because he couldn’t protect his wife.

"Of course, the person who should feel ashamed is you; the shame you have brought on your family and on yourself.

"After the punch you then shouted at him as he lay on the ground.

“And you didn’t plead guilty until the day of the trial.”

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