An up-and-coming boxer was jailed this afternoon for carrying out a violent attack in Dunstable last summer.
Reece Porter, 19, of Hammersmith Gardens, Houghton Regis, appeared at Luton Crown Court this afternoon for sentencing following the attack on Brandon Swann – which took place outside the old Norman King pub on Church Street on June 9 2015.
Judge Barbara Mensah sentenced him to 18 months in prison, telling him it was a “completely unnecessary, unprovoked attack”.
The Court heard that on June 9 last year, Brandon and his friend were cycling on their way to McDonalds when they came across a group of three people, including Porter, Porter’s girlfriend and another young man.
Brandon recognised the girl with Porter as someone he used to go to school with.
Prosecutor Miles Trigg said: “Brandon thought he recognised her because they had been to the same school. Having called her, he asked her name. He got off his bike to have a conversation with her.
“At this point, Mr Porter who was in fact the girl’s boyfriend intervened. He made a comment, ‘the yellow bus is over there’.
“Brandon didn’t react significantly to that. He turned away to go ... and he was then attacked from behind.
“He was punched on one side and then the other side of his temples. The sheer force meant that he went to the ground. Mr Porter carried on his attack, kicking him as he lay on the ground.
“The force of the kicks was sufficient so that he ended up in the road.”
The entire attack was estimated to have lasted seconds. Brandon’s friend was restrained from helping him by the young man with Porter, but a bystander rushed over to help.
After Porter and his group left, police and ambulance were called. Brandon was taken to Luton & Dunstable Hospital where he was found to have a broken nose, a fractured orbit of his right eye socket and a fractured cheek bone.
An imprint on his face was judged to have been made by the sole of a shoe.
Brandon later identified Reece Porter as his attacker after seeing the latter’s Facebook account. Porter handed himself in to Luton Police Station on June 16, he later pleaded guilty to a Section 20 offence of grievious bodily harm on April 12.
Defending Porter, Stuart Sprawson told the court this was an “upstanding” young man who worked hard in the community and was “remorseful” for his actions.
Mr Sprawson said: “There was no malice or intent by Mr Porter to exacerbate the situation.”
He added that Porter cared for his mother and 18-month-old brother as well as an elderly man in the community, and provided positive testimonials on his behalf.
Mr Sprawson also said that Porter had saved up some of his own money to offer as compensation to the victim.
Sentencing Porter, Judge Barbara Mensah told him plainly that the offence crossed the custody threshold.
She said: “I do accept that it was a sustained assault. It was serious injuries that he received.
“The comment about the bus suggests you knew the complainant had the difficulties outlined.
“You can see this has had an impact upon Mr Swann. Not just a physical impact but an emotional impact.”
Regarding the effect of the jail sentence on Porter’s family, the judge added: “If you knew that you had such responsibilities to your mother and brother, perhaps you ought to have stopped to think ... the court cannot be held to ransom.”
In addition to the 18 month sentence, a two year restraining order was granted and victim surcharge of an undisclosed amount.
Porter remained composed throughout the hearing, although family members including his mother cried aloud as the sentencing was read out.
As he was led out, he winked at friends and said: “Look after them boys.”
Investigating officer Gary Hales said: “I am pleased that this individual is behind bars after what can only be described as a truly sickening display of violence.
“The victim sustained a catalogue of injuries as a result of this unprovoked assault, which required stitches to a wound above his eye, left him with a broken nose and a fractured left cheekbone.
“This ruthless attack by Porter was so severe it even left the imprint of a footmark on the victim’s face.
“Acts of this kind will not be tolerated on the streets of Bedfordshire and I hope this sentence serves as a deterrent to anyone who thinks violence is acceptable.”