Pair spared jail for disabled man attack

TWO men who carried out a “cowardly and brutal” attack on a disabled Ipswich man have walked free from court after being given suspended jail sentences.

IPSWICH: TWO men who carried out a “cowardly and brutal” attack on a disabled Ipswich man have walked free from court after being given suspended jail sentences.

Michael Watkins, 25, of Vale Lane, Kersey, and Daniel Dunsford, 27, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, chased after Michael Brace along Bramford Road, Ipswich, and after knocking him to the ground they repeatedly kicked him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said that Mr Brace suffered from schizophrenia and was registered disabled and was looked after by carers.

In June last year he had been walking along Bramford Road when he saw the defendants in a car and thought they were laughing and jeering at him because of his punk image.


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Mr Brace had felt frustrated and had “foolishly” aimed a half-hearted kick at the passenger door of the car the men were in. The kick didn't cause any damage and Mr Brace had asked the men to leave him alone.

However, the men had got out of their car and had punched and kicked Mr Brace before driving off.

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As a result of the attack Mr Brace suffered bruising to his eyes, face, arms and knees.

Watkins and Dunsford admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and were each given an eight month jail sentence suspended for 12 months. They were also made the subject of a 26 week curfew between the hours of 9pm and 5am and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work in the community. They were also each ordered to pay �500 costs and �100 compensation to Mr Brace.

Sentencing the men Judge David Goodin described the attack as “cowardly and brutal” and said he had been close to sending them both straight to prison.

Peter Barlex, for the two defendants, said they had both acted totally out of character and had not set out that day to get in any trouble.

He said his clients were shocked when they saw pictures of Mr Brace's injuries.

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