Man jailed for stamping on victim’s head

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A “thug” who stamped on a man’s head in Belfast city centre was today jailed for two years.

Robert Davey, 23, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding his victim last year.

Belfast Crown Court heard the attack was a result of a “business transaction” in which the victim had demanded more money from Davey.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC watched a CCTV video recording of the attack which took place outside a jewellery shop in Waring Street on August 8, 2018.

The footage showed two topless men, one of whom was Davey, and two other individuals on bicycles in the street.

Prosecution barrister Gareth Purvis said Davey’s accomplice first attacked the victim who fell off his bike and onto the ground.

Davey was seen on the video chasing after a second male on a bicycle before running back and “stamping on the victim’s head”.

The court heard that the assault was eventually stopped by a binman who was working in the street.

Mr Purvis said Davey was arrested by police and was found to have slice marks to his neck and wrists.

The victim was taken hospital and needed treatment for lacerations to the scalp and right side of his head along with a cut from the bridge to the tip of his nose.

The prosecution barrister said Davey had 80 previous convictions, including offences of common assault, assault on police and also a serious assault.

He added that the defendant was assessed by the Probation Services as “posing a danger to the public in the future” which was accepted by defence lawyers.

Judge Lynch heard the attack came just days after Davey was given suspended sentences for common assault and theft.

Defence barrister Stephen Toal described Davey as a “troubled young man” with a “harrowing childhood” who been neglected and physically from an early age.

He said the defendant’s mother was “a prostitute who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. From the age of three, when she was away from the home, he was left to look after his one year old sister and fed her from the bin”.

Mr Toal said Davey had a long history of self harming and repeated attempts at suicide.

Judge Lynch was told that while in custody, Davey reported being bullied and inmates branded him a “tout” and an “informer”.

As a result, Mr Toal said the defendant confined himself to his cell for 24 hours afterwards until a prison guard convinced him to leave his cell for his mental well being and use the exercise yard.

“Within minutes he was viciously attacked,” said Mr Toal, adding that Davey now bore a scar to his face as a result of the assault.

Judge Lynch described the attack on the victim as “thuggery” which had taken place in the afternoon in “public view”.

He added that a “stamp to the head is very serious which could cause a serious injury” but fortunately the victim did not sustain a fracture or brain injury.

The judge jailed Davey for two years and imposed an additional two months for breaching suspended sentences.