Attack leads to suspended sentence

A FELIXSTOWE teenager has avoided an immediate jail sentence despite assaulting a man who travelled from Surrey to meet his girlfriend after talking to her on the internet.

A FELIXSTOWE teenager who assaulted a man who travelled from Surrey to meet his girlfriend after talking to her on the internet has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Glen Lewis temporarily lost the sight in one eye after being attacked by Reece Jones, 19, of Manor Terrace, Felixstowe.

On Monday, South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard from Gareth Davies, prosecuting, that Mr Lewis, 23, had struck up an online friendship with Jones' then-girlfriend, from whom he has now split.

Mr Lewis had travelled down to meet her and a female friend on November 24, and they had met up with Jones at Pier Amusements.

The two young women had left to buy food and alcohol, leaving Mr Lewis with Jones and two other males, who were not charged with any offence.

He said at some point a police car had passed the group and Jones had commented: “Those are the people who arrested me this morning” - and waved to the passing officers, who waved back at him.

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Jones had been arrested that morning for possession of cannabis after his mother had called police and said she had found a small quantity of herbal substance in his bedroom.

The group had chatted for a while, and Mr Lewis said he had been explaining who he was and why he was visiting Felixstowe that day when Jones attacked him without warning.

Mr Davies said that Jones punched Mr Lewis in the face several times, knocking him to the ground, and then shouted: “Leave my girlfriend alone.”

Mr Davies said: “It was an unprovoked attack and he did not fight back.”

Jones then ran off together with the other males, and an elderly couple stopped to offer assistance to Mr Lewis and called the police.

The victim was left with a black eye, a cut above his eye, and bruises to his face and also suffered temporary loss of vision in one eye which Mr Davies said must have been 'extremely distressing.'

When interviewed by police, Jones admitted the assault and said he did it because Mr Lewis was taking an 'unhealthy interest' in his girlfriend, and claimed he had also been sending her lewd text messages before they had met.

He also said he had felt threatened because Mr Lewis had made comments about “people he knew in London” which he had taken as veiled threats.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and Charles Riddleston, mitigating, said: “He made full admission and took the blame.”

He was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for one year, and ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work, and pay £350 compensation to the victim.

Have you been a victim of assault or violent crime? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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