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Baz Hockton jailed for slashing and punching strangers outside KFC in Ramsgate

A knifeman terrorised passersby as they walked near a KFC restaurant, slashing one in the cheek with a Stanley knife and fighting with another.

When a courageous woman stood up to thug Baz Hockton, the 23-year-old punched her repeatedly in the face.

Now Hockton, of Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate has been sent to prison for six years after admitting wounding with intent, assault causing actual bodily harm, assault by beating, having a knife in public and possessing cannabis.

Baz Hockton. Picture: Kent Police.
Baz Hockton. Picture: Kent Police.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how on November 11, victim Paul Askwith walked towards the KFC in Queen Street, Ramsgate, when he passed a group of young men.

One of them shouted: “What the **** are you looking at?” but Mr Askwith kept on walking before hearing Hockton shout: “I’ll ******* do you!”

Prosecutor Andrew Horsell added: “It was sliced across his cheek by Hockton with a knife. The victim formed the opinion that he was either on drugs or intoxicated. It was a deep and long cut to his face and he needed treatment."

The second victim Joel Balsom later walked past the fast food outlet and was told by the defendant: “Go on... carry on walking!”

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

Mr Balsom asked if Hockton was OK, only to receive a punch to the face and the two began grappling.

Mr Balsom managed to pick the thug off the ground and place him on a car as the fight continued.

Then a gang of men and women, who had been inside KFC, joined in the attack, stamping on the victim as a woman with blue hair rifled through his wallet and a woman with black hair was seen holding a blue taser.

"His actions were severe and caused fear and upset to those involved and nearby" - DC Kerry Whiting

The prosecutor added: “He was unsure whether or not he passed out but he recalls the defendant astride him punching three or four times and he saw a yellow Stanley knife.

“Hockton was shouting: ‘Tell me you like it!’ and the victim, who had cuts to his neck and face, thought he was going to die," he added.

It was later that a third victim, Zara Bennett, found her friend Mr Balsom covered in blood and decided to confront the youths, who were outside the Red Lion pub.

“She saw two males and one of them said: 'Do you want some?' She replied: 'Come on if you think you are hard enough!’

“He was, because he decided to punch her in the face. She then asked if that was all he had and it turns out he had more because he punched her several more times," added Mr Horsell.

Judge Heather Norton
Judge Heather Norton

He was sent to prison after Judge Heather Norton told him: "You are somebody with a habit of carrying knives and somebody who in drink and drugs resorts to unprovoked violence."

After the hearing, investigating officer Detective Constable Kerry Whiting said: "Hockton launched unprovoked attacks on random people and it is impossible to know why he did.

"Although none of his victims were seriously injured, his actions were severe and caused fear and upset to those involved and nearby.

"His behaviour was simply unacceptable and I hope the result serves as a warning to anyone else considering mindless anti-social behaviour and violence, that it will not be tolerated."

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