Hemel Hempstead main jailed for causing grievous and actual bodily harm - St Albans

04/03/2014

A Scaffolder was jailed for 15 months today, Tuesday, 04 March 2014, for attacking two brothers in the street late at night after a drinking session in Hemel Hempstead.

Joshua Davis, 22, knocked out Christopher Higgins with a powerful right-handed punch that broke his jaw. When his brother Stephen intervened, they began fighting and Davis bit his chin, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Michael Speak prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Christopher, his girlfriend Daniella Wilkinson and his brother Stephen had all been out drinking in Hemel Hempstead town centre. They were making their way home through the Marlowes when they came across Davis, who was on his own and carrying a bottle of vodka and a bottle of cider.

Davis, who was drunk, asked how to leave the town centre. He was given directions and offered Christopher a swig from his vodka bottle.  All four walked on together, but Davis threatened to slap Daniella and then poured some vodka over her head.

A passing police officer intervened and told them to make their way home. Daniella and Stephen went over to a cash point, leaving Christopher to talk to Davis. When Daniella returned to her boyfriend she said they should go home, but Davis intervened and said: "Leave him alone. If he wants to stand and talk to me, that's fine."

Mr Speak said she made a gesture towards Davis, who swore at her. She tried to push him and he pushed her out of the way. When Christopher intervened, he was felled with a single blow from Davis' fist.

"The victim fell straight back and hit his head on the pavement. There was no attempt to break his fall and it may have been that the punch knocked him out. He remembers nothing until he wakes up in hospital. It was one powerful blow, " said Mr Speak.

Stephen Higgins and Davis began fighting and were split up by door staff from The Function Rooms. Davis moved away, but Stephen followed and there was a second scuffle in which he was bitten on the chin. It was again broken up by door staff.

Christopher suffered a fracture to the lower jaw on the right side and had an operation the next day. He also lost a tooth. Stephen's injury required 3 stitches. He was given a tetanus injection and will be left with long-term minor scarring, said Mr Speak.

Davis was arrested and was shown CCTV of the assaults. He made no comment to police questions.

Davis of Eastwick Row, Hemel pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and guilty to causing actual bodily on 20 September last year. He denied a charge of assault on Daniella Wilkinson. The pleas were accepted by the prosecution. He had eight previous convictions, including one from February 2010 when he assaulted a constable who was arresting his mother.

Andrew Kerry, defending, said: "They had all been drinking. This defendant was more intoxicated that the others. He is very remorseful and does not seek to hide behind his use of alcohol. It was a one-off act of aggression."

He handed the judge references for Davis and letters from his GP and the defendant himself.  "If his alcohol consumption is dealt with, this behaviour is unlikely to repeat itself," he said.

Mr Kerry said Davis had worked as a labourer since leaving school and was now a qualified scaffolder.

Jailing him, Judge Stephen Warner said: "It was totally unacceptable serious violence in a public place in the early hours of the morning."

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