'Mindless thug' who attacked married couple is jailed

Thomas Thorby was jailed for attacking a couple in Hadleigh, Suffolk

Thomas Thorby was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for the "violent" attack - Credit: Suffolk police

A 21-year-old man who attacked a married couple after drinking at the pub all day has been branded a "mindless thug" by a judge. 

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Thomas Thorby inflicted the "extremely violent" attack on the couple in Hadleigh on December 1, 2019. 

The couple were walking home along Angel Street opposite the Eight Bells pub around 11.45pm before turning into Bradfield Avenue, Jerry Hayes, prosecuting, told the court. 

They were confronted by two men, and one of the men, Thorby, said words to the effect of "Who have we got here then?", Mr Hayes said. 

The husband asked Thorby what he was doing, and Thorby replied: "Do you want to have a go?" and went aggressively towards him. 

The victim went to the ground and Thorby began kicking him in the head, the court heard. 

He tried to get up, but Thorby continued to kick him, and his wife was screaming for Thorby to stop. 

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Thorby pushed her away and when asked again to stop, he said: "He started it, he deserved it."

The husband suffered a split lip, requiring eight stitches, and cuts and bruising to his face and head. 

Police viewed CCTV footage from the Eight Bells pub, which showed Thorby drinking from 1.30pm. 

Victim impact statements from the couple were read in court, and the husband said he thought he "was going to die". 

In her statement, the wife said her memory of the incident was still vivid and she was left "traumatised". 

Kelly Fernandez-Lee, mitigating, said her client had stopped drinking since the incident, and was "extremely remorseful". 

Thorby, of Lambert Close, Hadleigh, previously pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and common assault. 

Judge Rupert Overbury labelled Thorby's criminal record of 11 convictions for 18 offences "appalling". 

Sentencing Thorby on Tuesday, Judge Overbury said: "You took it upon yourself to attack this respectable, quiet couple in an extremely violent fashion. 

"Anyone who engages in mindless drunken violence cannot expect any mercy from these courts."

The judge described the sustained assault as "shocking and frightening" before adding: "People can expect to go about their business without being assaulted by mindless thugs like you."

Judge Overbury jailed Thorby for a total of 18 months and he will have to serve half of the sentence in custody before he is released on licence. 

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