Man who inflicted facial fractures on homeless person in Colchester dealt suspended sentence

The attack happened in Colchester High Street. File picture: SU ANDERSON

The attack happened in Colchester High Street. File picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

A 19-year-old Colchester man who assaulted a homeless person has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight into custody.

Sentencing Kai Brazier to 18 months detention in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, Judge John Devaux said that members of Brazier’s group had cheered after he struck homeless James Bryant and said he “deserved” what happened to him.

Judge Devaux said that as a result of being attacked by Brazier and another member of his group Mr Bryant suffered fractures to his nose and eye socket.

He described the incident as a “serious unprovoked attack on a vulnerable man”.

Brazier, of Oakapple Close, Colchester, had denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Bryant in November 2016 but was convicted by a jury after a trial in February.

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Sentence was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.

In addition to the suspended sentence Brazier was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to Mr Bryant and £400 prosecution costs.

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Catherine Bradshaw, for Brazier, told the court that her client had no previous convictions and hadn’t reoffended since the incident involving Mr Bryant.

She described the offence as out of character and said that Brazier had some good attributes.

She accepted Mr Bryant’s injuries were “nasty” but said Brazier had only struck a single blow.

Giving evidence during his trial Brazier claimed Mr Bryant had been verbally abusive towards him as he was walking along Colchester High Street with three friends.

Brazier said he asked Mr Bryant, who was sitting with another homeless man, what his problem was and described him as being aggressive and agitated.

“He then threw his hat on the ground and lunged towards me,” said Brazier.

He claimed Mr Bryant hit him on the collar bone causing him to go down on one knee.

He had protected his face with his hands before standing up and hitting Mr Bryant on the nose.

“I felt threatened. I wanted to deter him from coming towards me again,” said Brazier.

He denied thinking that people who beg on the street were “scum” and that he and his friends had called Mr Bryant “scum”.

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