Man (21) avoids prison despite punching victim unconscious

Royal Court. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37062542) (37801865)

A 21-YEAR-OLD who punched another man in a St Ouen’s Bay beach bar and nightclub – knocking him unconscious and breaking his front teeth – wept in the Royal Court as he was told he would not be sent to prison for the offence.

Kai Fairbrace – who has 36 previous convictions and a history of violence – launched an unprovoked attack on the man in the Watersplash on 18 August last year and laughed about it afterwards.

Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, said that before the incident happened some of the people on the dancefloor had been dropping ice cubes down the backs of other customers “in a spirit of fun”.

A woman dropped an ice cube down Fairbrace’s back and he swung round and punched the man behind him, assuming he had done it.

The punch broke three of the victim’s teeth and knocked him to the ground, leaving him unconscious. The victim will need more than £5,000 worth of dental work to repair the damage.

When States police officers arrested Fairbrace outside the club he laughed about the assault, the court heard.

And he later sent a threatening message to a witness, warning them: “If anything comes back to me, I’ll rip your head off your shoulders.”

Fairbrace admitted the charge of grave and criminal assault when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, with the case being deemed too serious for the court to deal with.

Advocate Hallam told the Royal Court that despite his young age, Fairbrace had 36 previous convictions, including five for common assault and two for grave and criminal assault.

She added that he had received non-custodial sentences in the past but had breached their conditions, and was considered at high risk of reconviction and high risk of harm to others.

She recommended 15 months in youth detention.

Advocate Julia-Anne Dix, defending, asked the Jurats to grant Fairbrace “one final chance” with a non-custodial sentence.

She pointed out that he was 20 years old at the time of the offence and added: “He has never denied what he has done.”

She accepted that he had “struggled” with his last community service order but said: “To his credit he did complete the order.”

Advocate Dix said Fairbrace now had a better and more mature attitude, and probation officers had found him polite and co-operative in his dealings with them.

She added that if he was not jailed he would be able to start earning money to pay the victim compensation.

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae said the Jurats had decided to impose a 180-hour community service order instead of prison.

He said they were “taking a risk” but told him: “We are not satisfied that you are unwilling to comply with a non-custodial order.”

Fairbrace was also banned from pubs and bars for 18 months and was ordered to pay £5,735 for the victim’s dental work, at the rate of £200 per month.

He sobbed and thanked the Jurats when he was told he was not being jailed.

But the Deputy Bailiff told him: “We hope we don’t see you in this court again, but if we do it will be because you are almost certainly on your way to La Moye.”

The Jurats sitting were Robert Christensen and Alison Opferman.

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