Ipswich/ Melton: Violent thug sent to jail for attack at wedding reception

IPSWICH/MELTON: A vicious thug who stamped on a man’s head while he lay unconscious after being punched at a Suffolk wedding reception has been jailed for 15 months.

Sentencing 24-year-old Nik Easey a judge described the attack on Anthony Atkinson at Ufford Park Hotel in Melton as “gratuitious” and said he could have caused serious injuries or even killed Mr Atkinson.

Easey, of Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, admitted assaulting Mr Atkinson causing him actual bodily harm in the early hours of April 17 last year and an offence of criminal damage. In addition to being jailed for 15 months he was ordered to pay Mr Atkinson, who lives in Kent, �750 compensation.

Judge Rupert Overbury said he had read references which described Easey as “respectful and pleasant with high moral values”.

“None of those attributes were present on April 17 when you behaved like a violent thug,” said the judge.

However he accepted that earlier in the incident Easey, a trained plumber, had been struck with a fire extinguisher and that blows had been exchanged between his group and Mr Atkinson and his brother.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting said Mr Atkinson had been attending a family wedding reception at Ufford Park and had retired for the night with his family to a room at the hotel shortly after midnight. He had later left his room to ask some people in the corridor, including Easey, to keep the noise down because his children were trying to sleep and couldn’t remember anything more until he woke up in an ambulance.

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Mr Crimp said that witnesses described a heated argument between Easey and his friends and Mr Atkinson and his brother. Mr Atkinson was punched in the face and while he was lying unconscious on the ground Easey had run over to him and kicked him twice in the head.

After the attack on Mr Atkinson, Easey had gone to a friend’s room at the hotel and broke items in the room before jumping off a balcony on to a parasol and chairs on a terrace, causing �1,650 damage.

The court heard that as a result of the attack Mr Atkinson suffered a cut to his head which needed four stitches, swelling to his face and bruising to his ear and chest.

Andrew Shaw for Easey said his client had suffered a black eye after being hit with a fire extinguisher and had drunk far more than was good for him. “A red mist descended and he behaved in a way that was wholly out of character,” said Mr Shaw.

n What do you think should be done to tackle the problem of violence? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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