Two brothers jailed for vicious attack - St Albans

17/06/2013

Two brothers, who launched a drunken attack on a man outside a pub in Ware, were both jailed for 3 years 4 months today, Monday, 17 June 2013.

John Stokes, 34, and James Stokes, 32, waited for Aaron Douglas to come out of The Navigator Pub to launch the  attack, early in the morning.

St Albans Crown Court was told,  he was punched to the ground,  kicked and stamped on, but the reason for the vicious assault still remains a mystery.

It was witnessed, at five to one in the morning, by an off duty Met police officer, who was walking home.  He saw one of the brothers jump on Mr Douglas. His head was stamped on and he was kicked five or six times, while offering no
resistance.

The Stokes ran off towards Bowling Road followed by the police officer. He called his colleagues from Hertfordshire, who arrested the pair. They were so drunk , neither could remember anything that had happened.

Mr Douglas suffered a fractured cheek bone, which needed corrective surgery, and a cut to his head.

Prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Nigel Ogborne said Mr Douglas could not remember what happened to him. He had left work in Harlow and went to the pub where he remembers speaking
to a woman. "The next thing he remembers was being in hospital and being sick," he said.

Mr Douglas' recovery is not going well, said Mr Ogborne. He still has numbness in his face, his eyes stream and he has a blocked left nostril.

"The motive for the attack is unknown. One woman, who had been in the pub, had heard them say: 'We will wait outside and kick'  either his head or his teeth in.

"It was a sustained attack on a man on the ground by shod feet.  It was a drunken, pre-meditated assault," he said.

John Stokes of King Charles Close, Ware, and James Stokes of Nursery Lane, Hackney,  pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to causing grievous bodily harm on 2 February this year. Neither had previous convictions.

For James Stokes, Edward Henry said: "He expresses shock and horror at what he has done. He has sought help to deal with his drinking." 

He said the assault arose suddenly and its cause is a mystery. James Stokes, who cares for his disabled brother Patrick,  expressed "obvious contrition and remorse in a candid and eloquent letter to the court, " he said.

Both the brothers had £3,000 to offer their victim which they had amassed from savings and help from relatives.

Jonathan Akinsanya, for John Stokes said he had written a letter to Mr Douglas, which showed 'no hint of self-pity.' He said: "It is like a bad dream. He could not believe he was involved in such an offence."

Judge John Plumstead said: "It is a mystery to everyone why they behaved in this way for no reason. We have no idea what preceded it. It came out of the blue. It was an act of disgraceful violence."

He said he accepted the attack was out of character and that they were genuinely sorry."

He ordered the men to pay the £3,000 they had saved, to Mr Douglas as soon as possible.

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.