Three men jailed for violent attack - Luton


Three young men, who attacked another man in Luton town centre breaking his nose, have today, Tuesday, 31 March 2015, been sent into custody.

All three had been drinking heavily at the time and chased after the victim along George Street in the early hours. Some of the violence was caught on CCTV, which was played in Luton Crown Court when the three pleaded guilty to an offence of assaulting Khalid Karim in the early hours of Sunday, 18 May last year.

Judge David Farrell QC was shown the footage in court and told the men they had been involved in a joint enterprise when they attacked Mr Karim, who had gone out that night into Luton town centre with his cousin.

In the dock Michael Ronan, aged 23, Aston Chippendale, aged 20, and Saleban Libane, also aged 20, stood shame faced as their families and friends packed the public gallery.

Beverley Cripps, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told how on the Saturday evening Mr Karim had gone out with his cousin. She told the court how the victim had two pints of Guinness and the next thing he remembered was waking up in hospital and being treated for facial injuries. It was there that police told him he had been attacked. The court heard he had a cut to his left eye, and his nose had been broken after he had been kicked in the face.

Judge Farrell was told Mr Karim had to undergo surgery to his nose later and suffered headaches and breathing difficulties because of what had happened. He had also suffered a loss of confidence because of what had happened and was now anxious when out on his own at night.

Miss Cripps said a police investigation into what had happened found that the violence had broken out as the pubs and clubs in the area closed and young people were spilling out into George Street.

CCTV cameras caught Libane removing his belt in an act of aggression and Mr Karim being chased along the street. After being caught by the three defendants, he was brought to the ground by them, but it was Chippendale who was seen to deliver the kick to his face which broke his nose.

Judge Farrell was told the victim had been kicked as he lay defenceless on the ground.

The court then heard police were quickly on the scene and Chippendale, of Purcell Road, Luton; Ronan, of Angel Close, Luton and Libane, of Cricklewood Lane, London NW2, were all arrested.

Ronan was said to have played a limited role in the attack and had been involved in shoving him to the ground where he was kicked by Chippendale. As a result of what had happened that night, he had changed his ways and no longer went into the town centre to drink.

Henry Day for both Libane and Chippendale said the violence had not been premeditated that night. He said both Chippendale and Libane had cut down their drinking.

Passing sentence, the Judge told the three: "It's quite clear to me this was a joint attack on another man who was perceived to have wronged you in some way. The most serious aspect of the case is the fact that you, Chippendale, kicked that man while he was lying on the floor defenceless."

The Judge told the three that the court was well used to seeing incidents which had resulted in serious injuries being caused to victims. He said it was only by luck that Mr Karim had not suffered the type of injury that would have led to them being charged with a far more serious offence.

He ordered Chippendale to be detained in a young offenders institute for 14 months, Libane was told he would be detained for 12 months and Ronan was jailed for 12 months.

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