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Jack Barron and Luke Fogarolli sentenced for Canterbury gang attack on German student Daniel Ezzedine

Two teenage thugs have together been sentenced to more than 12 years behind bars for leaving a German student brain-damaged in a vicious gang attack.

Jack Barron smashed Daniel Ezzedine in the face with a bag likely loaded with bricks, while Luke Fogarolli took a running stamp on the 17-year-old's head.

Daniel Ezzedine suffered brain damage in the attack
Daniel Ezzedine suffered brain damage in the attack

Barron, 17, has now been sentenced to six years in a young offenders' institute, and Fogarolli six-and-a-half years - including 12 months for a separate matter of dealing Class A drugs.

During a trial last year, Canterbury Crown Court was told Daniel suffered an “earthquake” of skull fractures during the attack in Canterbury city centre, resulting in a life-limiting brain injury.

Judge Simon James today told the duo Mr Ezzedine is “unlikely to recover” after their attack brought “shame on the city”.

“International visitors have been welcomed to Canterbury for hundreds of years," he said.

“Daniel Ezzedine was a young man with his whole life ahead of him.

“He, together with other classmates from his school in Germany, came to England to experience a different culture, and to Canterbury to explore our city’s rich historical heritage.

“He left, not with the expected life-enhancing experience, but with a life-threatening and life-changing brain injury, from which he is unlikely to recover.”

Jack Barron Pic: Kent Police
Jack Barron Pic: Kent Police

Daniel was given just a 30% chance of survival, but despite beating the odds had to have part of his brain removed.

The tragedy unfolded after the German teenager's group, who had just finished their exams, unwittingly wandered into the Canterbury gang’s cross-hairs during a trip to KFC.

Taking umbrage with the foreigners, the gang began jeering at the Germans before a 15-year-old ramped up the friction by barging into one of them.

The stage had been set for an “evil” series of events that would leave Daniel fighting for his life.

Two days later the gang hunted down the German students before a melee erupted in Rose Lane, where the fight turned disastrous.

Daniel tried to head-kick one gang member but was pulled to the ground.

However, when he tried getting to his feet, Barron swung his bag with such force into his right cheekbone it forced his head to hit his left shoulder.

As Daniel laid down helplessly, Fogarolli took a running kick at his head before the group fled into Beer Cart Lane.

Luke Fogorolli Pic: Kent Police
Luke Fogorolli Pic: Kent Police

Judge James told the duo: "It was a physical confrontation that was engineered by you and your group and which some had prepared for by arming themselves, with you Barron, placing a heavy object object - most likely a brick - in your small shoulder bag.

"During that violent disorder, you, Barron, struck Daniel Ezzedine around the head with the weapon you created, knocking him unconscious and then, as he lay prone and defenceless on the floor, you, Luke Fogarolli, ran up and kicked him in the head, in what was a wholly gratuitous act."

He added the pre-planned "racially aggravated" attack will likely limit Daniel's life-expectancy.

Barron is considered a high risk of harm to the public in a conflict situation, while Fogarolli poses a high risk of causing serious harm to the public, the judge added.

Both remained emotionless in the dock as their lawyers argued their case.

Matthew Pardoe, for Fogarolli, said the kick was unplanned after his client became “caught up in the moment”.

Fogarolli was immature for his age, “prone to follow” his peers and the assault did not cause the lion’s share of Daniel’s injuries, the lawyer argued.

Jack Barron (left) and Luke Fogarolli, with his coat over his head, leave court after the jury's verdicts
Jack Barron (left) and Luke Fogarolli, with his coat over his head, leave court after the jury's verdicts

Mr Pardoe added the attack was not sustained or racially motivated and handed Judge James a letter from his client.

“His Honour, I know what happened on the day was not acceptable, I’m fully responsible for my part of the incident which occurred," he wrote.

Fogarolli went on to apologise to his own family for his part in the attack, adding: “I hope I can be forgiven.”

Mr Pardoe explained his client self-medicated with cocaine after the attack, for which he feels “remorse.”

Mr Ross read a letter to the judge on Barron's behalf: "I have brought shame to my family and town, from which I have had to move away from."

He also wrote of the "trauma I have inflicted upon Daniel and his family".

A letter from his father read: "Myself and my wife were horrified. Jack had never been in trouble previously. Myself and my wife have both been abused by people in the town, from which we have moved."

Mr Ross added Barron had not been racist, was immature for age, had problems articulating after a limited education and was not the gang's ringleader.

Police sealed off Rose Lane after the attack on Daniel Ezzedine
Police sealed off Rose Lane after the attack on Daniel Ezzedine

"There was a reference from his employer describing him as polite and punctual," he added.

"This is one of those awful cases and your honour has an awful task. But Jack Barron is more than just that awful thing he did," the lawyer continued.

But Judge James said if the pair were adults and convicted at trial they would have been jailed for 12 years.

Both were convicted at Canterbury Crown Court of causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial last year.

The judge lifted reporting restrictions identifying Barron, of Longbury Drive, Orpington, in south-east London before sentencing him to six years in a young offenders' institute.

Fogarolli, of Sturry Road, Canterbury, was found guilty of the same charge alongside violent disorder.

He was also sentenced for a separate incident relating to possessing drugs with intent to supply and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was sentenced to a total of six-and-a-half years in a young offenders' institute.

Detective Inspector Ross Gurden said after sentencing: "There can be no doubt of the part that was played by these two offenders in an assault which led to a teenager being left with life-changing injuries.

"They may have run from the scene after the attack on that fateful day, but ultimately they will never be able to escape the consequences of their actions and I am pleased the court recognised the severity of their crimes."

Eight remaining suspects are due to appear in court at a later date.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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