Teen needed cranial surgery after ‘drink-fuelled’ body slam
A TEENAGER had to be sent to Southampton’s specialist neurological unit to have part of his skull removed after he was picked up, turned upside down and thrown to the ground during a ‘drink-fuelled’ attack in town.
A woman who witnessed the violence told officers that the sound of the victim’s head hitting the floor was akin to ‘slamming a five-kilo gym ball to the floor’. After seeing the teenager lying motionless, the witness added that ‘she thought that he had died’.
Charlie Hackett Robinson (18) was sentenced to 2½ years in youth detention by the Royal Court yesterday after pleading guilty to grave and criminal assault.
After the sentence was read out, the crying defendant was taken away by court ushers. Following this, one man shouted to the public gallery on his way out: ‘I hope you are happy now.’
The ushers then advised those left in the court’s public seating to stay inside the building while the man was escorted outside.
Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood, prosecuting, called for a three-year sentence and told the court that on Easter Sunday – 21 April 2019 – the victim had gone to a town pub with friends before leaving at closing time and heading to the nightclub Mimosa.
He later told officers that while in Mimosa he was ‘a bit drunk’ but was still able to be himself and had no issues or arguments with anyone inside the club.
However, once outside he became involved in an altercation with Robinson. CCTV footage viewed by the court showed the defendant in Liberation Square pushing the victim away.
One witness, who was sitting in the square at the time, said that the pair then began throwing punches at each other.
‘They stood at a distance of two or three strides away from me. I could see them clearly without any obstructions in my way,’ she said.
‘Then he [Robinson] picked up [the victim]. His legs were to the sky and his head facing down.
‘[The defendant] then slammed [the victim] down to the ground. I heard his head hit the ground. It was exactly like the sound of slamming a five kilo gym ball to the floor... he didn’t move for about 45 seconds to a minute...’
The victim was taken to hospital before being transferred to to the Wessex Neurological Centre in Southampton the next day.
He required a craniotomy – the cutting of a bone flap in the skull – to remove a blood clot and also fractured one of his vertebrae, which required support with a hard spinal collar for eight weeks. Air was discovered within his skull, requiring required him to stay in Southampton for seven days.
Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, said that the assault began with what doorstaff said appeared to be a ‘play fight’ and that the final body-slam happened within a matter of seconds.
She added that there had been no method or conscious decision to carry out the final blow, later saying that he had ‘lost his temper’.
Advocate Pinel also said that her client was ‘adamant’ he had not intended to cause the injuries and was genuinely remorseful and that his mental health had suffered as a result of the proceedings.
Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq, presiding, said the court was not able to spare the defendant custody.
‘A number of people witnessed this attack, which they described as horrific, horrible and disgusting. The injuries were unsurprisingly severe and you were very fortunate that they were not more severe than they were,’ he said.
‘We do not know what the full effects will be, but we have read the reports and they suggest that there will be a medium-term effect as a result.
‘We agree with the Crown’s assertion that this was “drink fuelled” and done deliberately. After viewing the CCTV, this offence is too serious to be dealt with by way of a non-custodial sentence.’
Jurats Rozanne Thomas and Joanne Averty were also sitting.