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Teenager given six years for leaving man brain damaged


A teenager who punched an off-duty prison officer, causing him permanent brain damage, had been sentenced to six years detention.

Jamie Nethercot (19) felled the victim with a haymaker blow, causing him to fall and hit his head on a kerb or step.

The 34-year-old victim had life-saving surgery in which part of his skull and brain were removed.

Nethercot, of Pollard Road, Braunstone, Leicester, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH), but denied GBH with intent.

However, a Leicester Crown Court jury convicted him of the more serious charge.

The unprovoked attack happened outside the Lamplighter's, in Silver Street, Leicester, on July 21.

Sentencing Nethercot on Friday, Judge Robert Brown said: "The victim suffered serious, permanent and disabling injuries.

"You hit him once without a weapon and you didn't foresee the level of injury that followed, albeit you intended to cause him serious harm.

"You had attacked him earlier, inside the Lamplighter's.

"You went outside and, targeting him, struck him when he had his hands in his pockets."

Prosecutor Rebecca Herbert said Nethercot's friend, Michael Kavanagh (22), started the incident by head-butting the off-duty prison officer while on the pub's dance floor.

Kavanagh, of Raven Road, Braunstone, Leicester, then punched the victim's friend.

Nethercot joined in, punching the prison officer before following him outside. He admitted an affray charge relating to events inside the pub.

Kavanagh admitted causing the prison officer's friend actual bodily harm and was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Mrs Herbert said when the severely injured victim's life-support machine was turned off, it was not known if he would live or die.

The father-of-two survived, but has been left with "life-changing injuries".

The victim faces further surgery to have a metal plate attached to his skull.

He has poor vision in his left eye and his hearing and balance are affected.

Mrs Herbert said: "Before this, he was a fit man in work and now feels unable to act as a parent to his two small children – unable to play football with them, or go to the gym.

"He recently spent 10 days in hospital after he collapsed at home and has developed epilepsy."

During the trial, Mrs Herbert told the jury Nethercot, in a group of four, was behaving in a "thuggish" manner, looking for trouble.

She said: "What happened to the victim may send a chill through all of you.

"It's the type of thing, due to the activities of men like the defendant, that could happen to anyone who was in the city centre on a night out."

James Varley, mitigating for both defendants, said: "Nethercot realises what he's done and he's not proud or happy.

"He was with others older than him and had too much beer.

"It went far beyond what was intended."

Mr Varley said of Kavanagh: "He was out with friends trying to look bigger than he was."

Teenager given   six years for leaving man brain damaged

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