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Fury over attacker's 'lenient' sentence

THE father of a boy almost beaten to death for his gold chain has hit out at the attacker's "lenient" prison sentence.

Derek Whiting says his son, Sonny, was failed by the justice system when Billy Newberry, of Maidstone Road, Rochester, was given a eight-month prison sentence for robbery with intent and wounding. Newberry will only serve four months of his sentence if he behaves himself in jail.

Sonny, 12, was left with a lifetime of physical and emotional scars after he was brutally beaten across the head and body with a metal bar for his £400 gold chain. He knew his attacker, a talented local boxer.

The attack, near a sports ground in Marconi Way, Rochester, on March 28 last year, left Sonny in hospital for three days with head injuries and a shattered elbow.

After the hearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Mr Whiting, of The Tideway, Rochester, said: "I could have been left feeding a cabbage or burying my son. I thought the attacker was going to get at least four or five years.

"Sonny will be left with a mental trauma which he is never going to forget. Billy will be out of prison in four months and won't even think about that time again."

Following the attack Sonny was off school for six months and needed counselling to overcome the psychological effects.

Mr Whiting is hoping to take his complaint further and has already written to Medway MP Bob Marshall-Andrews.

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