3rd Jul, 2022

Victim suffers brain injury after Coventry man kicked his head like 'he was taking penalty'

A CONVICTED armed robber is back behind bars after kicking another man to the head ‘as if he was taking a penalty’ in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Rhys Morgan, who was on licence from a sentence for robbery at the time, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to wounding his victim with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Morgan (20) of Cossington Road, Holbrooks, Coventry, who has already been recalled to prison, was jailed for six years.

Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson said that on December 31 last year Jamie Morton went to a New Year’s Eve party at the home of his partner’s family in Cash’s Lane, Coventry.

“He can remember very little apart from that, but neighbours in Cash’s Lane can fill in the gap.”

Mr Clarkson said that at 1.45 in the morning on New Year’s Day people heard shouting and screaming in the street, and when they looked out they saw Morgan punch Mr Morton, who went to the floor.

“The defendant moved away for a short while, but the victim was still on the floor when he returned and kicked him twice to the face.”

A woman who saw the incident from her home said one of the kicks was being delivered ‘with so much force it was like taking a penalty.’

Morgan then punched him again to the face before turning and walking away.

But he remained in the street, where he was arrested after the police and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

Mr Morton was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered a 12cm wound to the back of his head, swelling to his face and an injury to his brain, as a result of which he was off work for three weeks.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano commented that he was ‘very, very fortunate indeed’ that his injuries were not more severe.

When Morgan was arrested and interviewed, he said he had been drinking heavily and was drunk, but denied being responsible for the attack.

The court heard that at the time he was on licence from a five-year sentence imposed in 2016 for his part in three knife-point robberies – and he has since been recalled to serve the rest of that sentence.

Martin Butterworth, defending, said: “He regrets what he has done, and he has asked me when he might send a letter to Jamie apologising for what he did.”

Morgan had not long been out on licence, and had been spending time with his family and not drinking – until that night when he had a lot to drink.

“He cannot recall why he ended up committing this offence,” said Mr Butterworth, who added that Morgan ‘has the capacity to change,’ and would benefit from relapse prevention work.

Jailing Morgan, Judge de Bertodano told him: “You were at a New Year’s Eve party, and so was a young man called Jamie Morton, and you both had had a lot too much to drink.

“Nobody, including the two of you, is in a position to say why all of this happened, but neighbours saw you punch Jamie once to the face, which caused him to fall to the ground.

“You then came back and kicked him twice to the face while he was on the floor with such force that someone described it as being like a penalty kick.

“It is great good fortune for him as well as you that the injuries were not more serious. If you kick someone to the head, you can kill them.”

But Judge de Bertodano added: “I accept you are genuinely remorseful for what happened.”

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