Pair avoid prison term after violent attack



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Two men have been handed suspended prison sentences after they kicked and punched a man in the head during a party.

Craig Whitehouse and Christopher Hill, both from Pickering, gave the victim such a beating that he needed hospital treatment for blurred vision and cuts and bruises over his entire body, York Crown Court heard.

At one point during the attack, Whitehouse kicked the victim in the head while he lay helpless on the ground. The blow was delivered with such force that a boot mark was imprinted on the man’s face.

The attack began inside a flat above a pub in Malton and spilled out onto the street after the victim was forced outside by Whitehouse and Hill. They were later arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Whitehouse, 25, of Oaklands, Pickering, and Hill, 26, of Woodlands Avenue, Pickering, appeared in court for sentencing on Wednesday last week after pleading guilty to the offence.

Prosecutor Sophie Drake said the attack happened during a party at a flat in Malton town centre in April last year.

The victim was in the communal toilets talking to his brother on the phone when Whitehouse, mistakenly thinking that the man was inviting other people to the party, began punching him in the head and body.

The victim fought back but then Hill appeared and he joined in the attack as the victim was knocked to the floor.

They then forcibly moved him out into the street where Hill punched him in the head, causing him to fall into the middle of the road, almost unconscious.

“He doesn’t remember anything (after that) until the ambulance arrives,” said Ms Drake.

One witness said he saw Whitehouse kicking the man in the head and ribs. The two attackers then fled when the witness chased after them.

Barrister Glen Parsons claimed that Whitehouse had only punched and kicked the victim once outside and strenuously denied one witness’s claims that there had been a bite during the attack.

Kirsten Mercer, for Hill, claimed he had only punched the victim once and played a minor role in the attack.

However, judge Stephen Ashurst was told that, in committing the offence, Hill had breached a suspended prison sentence, which he was given last year for glassing someone in the eye at the Rose Inn pub in Pickering.

Mr Ashurst decided not to activate that sentence, instead fining Hill £250. For the ABH assault in Malton, both Hill and Whitehouse were sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

In addition, Mr Ashurst ordered them both to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work and that each pay £500 compensation to the victim.

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