Man jailed for attacking and temporarily blinding a man - Welwyn Garden City


A man, who beat his victim so badly that he was temporarily blinded, has been jailed for seven years and four months.

Richard Harper, aged 43, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, 15 May 2015, after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent, and theft at an earlier hearing.

The court was told Harper attacked his 52-year-old victim after the man confronted him at Welwyn Garden City station on the evening of Sunday, 31 August 2014.

The victim had fallen asleep on his train and awoke at Welwyn to find his rucksack, containing his laptop and iPad, was missing. The court heard other passengers informed the man two thieves had left the train with the bag, and he got off the service to follow them. He caught up with Harper, who was carrying the bag, on the station bridge and confronted him.

Harper reacted violently, and, the court heard, beat his victim so hard that he was left with a fractured eye socket, lacerations to his eyelid as well as bruising to his head and body. The injuries were so bad, that on his arrival at hospital, the victim's eyeball came out of its socket. Doctors were able to replace it, but he was temporarily blinded.

Harper's accomplice, Robert Osborn, aged 41, of Dacre Road in Hitchin, did not take part in the attack, but was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for theft at a hearing last year.

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