Published: 00:01, 09 August 2018
A teenage thug who beat up a defenceless taxi driver during an unprovoked attack has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Damion Lewis left Rob King, 64, with horrendous injuries after punching him unconscious as he sat in his cab.
The grandfather, a former champion boxer from Minster, was parked in Sheerness High Street in the early hours of Sunday, July 1, waiting for a fare when Lewis began punching him through the open driver’s window.
Maidstone magistrates gave the 19-year-old, 120 days in jail, suspended for a year.
He will have to wear an electronic tag as part of a 9pm to 6am curfew until September 26 and was ordered to pay Mr King, who has not worked since the attack, £500 compensation.
Lewis, of Invicta Road, Sheerness, who admitted actual bodily harm, must also pay £115 victim support, £85 prosecution costs and undertake 200 hours unpaid community work.
Mr King’s step-daughter Krystal Pearce, 31, said after the case: “This is so wrong.
“We thought this date was a plea hearing before going to Crown Court for sentencing.
"But magistrates said they could give him a lighter sentence because he pleaded guilty.
“This is an awful sentence for such a callous attack.
“My step-father is not working and has not left the house since. He is now on valium for panic attacks.”
Mr King’s partner Dhareigne Pearce said: “Rob was waiting for a fare outside the Cyprus kebab and pizza shop when this yob came over and punched the hell out of him through the open window.
“This was a senseless and totally unprovoked attack on a 64-year-old man.
"It was so fast and vicious that it knocked him for six.
“He is afraid to leave the house and because he can’t work he doesn’t get paid.”
"This is an awful sentence for such a callous attack" - Krystal Pearce
The assault knocked one of Mr King’s front teeth out and left him with a black-eye.
Teenager Jack Adlam, 19, ran to the rescue and protected Mr King from more blows.
Mrs Pearce said: “If it had not been for him, I dread to think what would have happened to Rob.”
Mr King was working for mini-cab firm Royal Taxis in Blue Town at the time. He was treated at Medway Maritime Hospital.
In the 1970s he chalked up wins in the boxing ring to become Kent middle-weight champ and even won a British tournament.
He said: “I don’t know what’s happening to Sheppey.
"I was born and bred on the Island but in the past 10 years the violence has got worse.”
More by this authorJohn Nurden