Bedford man avoids jail after stamping on victim’s head in street brawl

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Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

A Bedford man who stamped on his victim’s head during an early morning street brawl escaped going to jail yesterday (Wednesday).

Thomas Babb, 27, had been drinking with the victim and his girlfriend in the town centre, where they had been chatting on friendly terms.

But as they walked along Midland Road at 3am to get some food, a row broke out between Babb and a friend of his.

The victim intervened and became involved in fighting both men. While the victim was grappling with the other man, Babb stamped on him several times – once or twice to the head and several times to the body, Luton crown court heard.

Prosecutor Stephen Ferson said when the police arrived Babb sprinted away. He was caught and restrained. He smelt of alcohol and refused to walk to the police van.

The victim and his girlfriend, who had intervened in the fight, had been taken to South Wing Hospital, but had run off. They were located by the police and the victim was persuaded to return to the hospital, where he was treated for a 10 centimetre long and half centimetre deep cut.

In a statement made on 5 June last year the victim said he felt “angry, moody and anxious” following the attack.

Babb of Roman Paddock, Bedford pleaded guilty to wounding on 24 May 2019. He had 5 previous convictions for 6 offences.

Mark Nicholls, defending, said: “He (Babb) is deeply ashamed. It seems ridiculous he got himself into that situation. Matters got out of hand.”

He said CCTV that was played to the judge showed that the victim left the scene and came back multiple times. When they were fighting he said: “ Both gave as good as they got.”

Mr Nicholls said: “When Mr Babb let go of the victim, he was hit. Both were stupidly dancing around and kicking at each other. This was not a one-sided affair.”

He said Babb is deeply ashamed of his actions. “He is genuinely remorseful. The victim was having a fight with the other man. We have to accept blows were landed to victim’s head,” he said.

Judge Gary Lucie told him: “It was shocking and pathetic behaviour for grown men to act in that way.

“The most serious part is that while he was grappling with your friend you kicked him once or twice to head and several times to the body. If it was not for his girlfriend things may have been even worse.”

He sentenced him to 14 months in jail suspended for two years. He must carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and attend a Thinking Skills Programme and Rehabilitation sessions.

The judge told him: “Stay out of trouble or you will go straight inside.”

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