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Man spared jail after late night attack

 Published on: 28th June 2018   |   By: Tom Dyson   |   Category: Uncategorized

A teenager who broke the jaw and nose of his victim in a late night attack in Watford was spared jail last month.

Joseph Marsden, 19, repeatedly punched the boy and kneed him in the chest.

The former Berkhamsted School pupil had gone out with friends to Bar Eighty3 on Sunday, December 18, 2016 (correct), St Albans Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Katrina Charles said the victim, who was nearly 18 at the time, was with another group from Chesham who were there for a birthday party.

There had been trouble between the two groups earlier and at 11.20pm the victim and his friends left, having arranged for a taxi to collect them from the nearby Sainsbury’s car park. They were followed by Marsden and his group.

Ms Charles said: “The defendant appeared to be the ring leader. He displayed an aggressive manner. The victim was pushed by him and took a step back.

“Mr Marsden punched him repeatedly to the face and the victim felt a sharp pain to the side of his face and specifically to his jaw. He was punched to the face and body and managed to block some punches. He did not throw any punches and made it clear he did not want to fight.

“He was told to f… off and was also assaulted by two other males.

“Towards the end of the assault, the defendant kneed him in the chest and called him a ‘pussy’ before he retreated.”

The victim went home and iced the injuries to his face and jaw. The next morning he went to Accident and Emergency at Wexham Park Hospital. He was given five stitches to his eyebrow. His left jaw was scanned and found to be broken, as was his nose.

He had to have a plate inserted in his jaw. His nose was reset, but is no longer straight.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor, he said the attack, which took place two days before his 18th birthday, has left him with feelings of anxiety and has been unable to go out socially.

Marsden, of Riverside Stables, Drop Lane, Bricket Wood, St Albans, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. He was of previous good character.

Orlando Pownell QC, defending, said: “He is now 19 – he had just turned 18 at the time.

“He makes it perfectly clear he deeply regrets what happened. He has feelings of genuine remorse. It was an aberration – he had never done anything like this before or in the 18 months since the incident.

“He has learnt his lesson and has caused upset to his family, and the consequences to himself remain significant.

“This was not a sustained or prolonged attack. It was of a short duration.”

Mr Pownell went on: “He did not know this person. He was an individual associated with Chesham group who had made deeply wounding racist remarks to friends of this defendant.”

He said Marsden, who suffered a black eye in the trouble, had been diagnosed with ADHD before the attack.

He said he had been offered a place at Leeds University.

Judge Stephen Warner told him: “You played a leading role in what was a group attack by three people on the victim in a public place. It followed an encounter between two groups in a club in Watford.

“You did not know the victim. Once outside, you and others approached the victim and punched him repeatedly as he tried to fend you off and you kneed him in the chest.

“You fractured his jaw and broke his nose. Some of the effects of his injuries will be permanent. There is no justification for what you did.

“Whatever may have gone on before between the two groups cannot justify violence used that night.”

The judge said he was a young man who had a number of advantages in his life and accepted it had been out of character and that he was remorseful.

He passed a 16-month detention sentence suspended for two years. Marsden must carry out 280 hours’ unpaid work, abide by an electronically-monitored curfew for two months between 8pm and 8am and pay the victim £1,750 compensation.

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