Thug walks free from court after admitting to a vicious attack

Daily Mail
29.10.2010
By Daily Mail Reporter

What justice? Thug who kicked terminally-ill grandfather in the head in unprovoked attack walks free from court

A drunken thug who attacked a terminally-ill grandfather and kicked his head ‘like a football’ has walked free from court.

Reece Kent, 19, repeatedly punched Ken Oliver in the head before kicking him on the floor after he mistakenly knocked on the 62-year-old’s door at 3.30am.

Cancer sufferer Mr Oliver - who has been given just three months to live -

He spent a week in intensive care following the assault, with bleeding on his brain.

Reece admitted carrying out the unprovoked attack - which was filmed on a mobile phone by his friends - and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

But Mr Oliver, a grandfather-of-three from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, watched in disbelief as his attacker walked free from court last week with a six-month suspended sentence.

Today he said: ‘I would love to have seen him go away for a long, long time. I could quite easily have died. I was expecting him to go to jail. I am gutted.

‘Before I knew what was going on I was being punched and kicked. My head was used as a football and the whole attack was recorded on a mobile phone.

‘I am appalled at the sentence. They were swearing and laughing in my face. He should have been locked up for what he did.

‘His barrister said he feels remorse but when he turned up in court he just sneered at me. I hope he is ashamed for the rest of his life.’

Unbelievably, Mr Oliver said that he and his family had been forced to track down Kent after Hertfordshire constabulary told him it was unlikely they would catch his attacker.

He said: ‘Police told me that it was most likely just a case of happy slapping because the other lads were filming the attack.

‘But when I told my neighbours that the lad had asked for Molly, they remembered that a girl of that name had lived a few doors down and had moved away.

‘My son did some detective work and tracked down the family then worked out who my attackers were from there.

‘After going to all that trouble, I was looking forward to seeing him in court and justice being done.

‘I was disgusted when he walked free. I’m still living with the injuries. It makes you wonder what you have to do to get put behind bars these days.’

The pensioner had undergone surgery to remove a third of his lung just five weeks earlier.

He suffered a cracked left cheekbone, extensive bruising round his left eye and face and a dislocated toe.

Mr Oliver spent a week in intensive care at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex, and a CT scan revealed bleeding in the brain and left temple.

Recorder Peter Digney told him: ‘What you did was serious. The man you kicked was a man who had enough problems without you adding to them.’

But he said he had decided by the ’slightest margin’ not to send him to custody saying he was a ‘very fortunate young man who could easily have gone to prison’.

He passed a 6 month sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Oliver.

Tory MP Charles Walker, who represents Mr Oliver’s Broxbourne constituency, today branded the attack ‘vile’ and ‘vicious’.

He said: ‘I have written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to raise my concerns.

‘This case shows it is impossible for my constituents to have confidence in the criminal justice system when you see a vile assault of this kind go unpunished.

‘It is unbelievable someone can commit this vicious crime and not get a jail sentence.

‘I can’t understand how anyone can not go to prison for turning up drunk at someone’s door and when they open it beating that person up on their own doorstep.’

Full article

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