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'Pathetic sentence' for yob who attacked an aerospace engineer and left him paralysed

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 15, 2012

  • Paralysed: Matthew Edmonds

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MATTHEW Edmonds has been left paralysed from the neck down and facing life in a wheelchair after he was punched in the street by a drunken yob.

The 33-year-old was left a tetraplegic with limited movement in his arms after the single punch assault.

His attacker, Samuel Evans, 21, was already subject to a suspended jail term for a previous assault when he lashed out at Matthew.

He fell and hit his head on a concrete floor, with "devastating" consequences for the aerospace testing engineer, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

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Matthew was helped into court in his wheelchair so he could see Evans, of no fixed address, sentenced to a total of 34 months in jail.

But it is likely he could serve just half that before being eligible for parole.

Judge William Hart told Evans the public might view his sentence as "pathetic". He jailed him for 28 months for the assault, and implemented the six month suspended term for the previous attack.

Judge Hart said sentencing guidelines did not allow him to pass a longer term. In addition, Evans, formerly of Devereux Crescent, Stroud, had admitted the charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on March 26 and was eligible for a reduction to the maximum sentence.

Evans wrote a letter to the court that said: "I have wrecked Mr Edmonds' life and I hate myself for it."

But the judge, who heard Evans had previous convictions including assault and battery, told him: "On this dreadful night you were drunk and looking for trouble, as appears to have become your habit.

"You struck a forceful blow to Mr Edmonds. The consequences for him have been as dramatic as they could be, short of death. It was catastrophic."

After the hearing Matthew, who had been brought to court from the spinal injuries unit at Salisbury Hospital, said he had been hoping Evans would get a longer sentence.

He said: "I came to court because I just wanted to draw a line under it all. It was quite hard being in court to hear it all and to see him. But it was something I felt I had to do.

"I am now classed as a tetraplegic, paralysed from the neck down. I do have some limited movement in my arms but that's all. I won't be able to go back to my work and I shall have to re-evaluate what I am going to do."

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  • LadyScarface  |  October 22 2012, 11:43PM

    SAD - -

  • Takeaway22  |  October 20 2012, 9:16PM

    jayne80 - If you took the time to read the article properly, Judge William Hart wanted to give him a longer sentence, but the legal guidelines didn't allow him to do so.....or are you saying the judge should ignore the legal system and do as he pleases?

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  • FreeRadical1  |  October 17 2012, 5:15PM

    joholly, you've missed the point: the judge gave the maximum sentence for assault, which was what Evans was charged with. It should have been GBH, but the judge couldn't do anything about that, which was up to the CPS.

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  • joholly  |  October 16 2012, 6:52PM

    This is just simply pathetic. The Judge needs to contemplate how he would feel in the ViCtims position. To hear the old "them are the rules" adage DEVALUES THE POSITION OF THE COURT, THE JUDICIARY AND THOSE WHO WORK TIRELESSLY TO BRING SCUM LIKE EVANS TO COURT. This is the very reason that ambulance chasing legal firms go into business - where on earth are the MPs on this one - they after all pass the laws that we so ineffectively rely on.

  • FreeRadical1  |  October 16 2012, 6:39PM

    The judge passed the maximum sentence for the assault. But why was the scumbag only charged with assault? He caused grievous bodily harm. Perhaps the CPS should do some explaining.

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  • LordGagas  |  October 15 2012, 7:40PM

    if he had done this to someone i know, he would be much better off in jail

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  • LordGagas  |  October 15 2012, 7:36PM

    Judge Hart said sentencing guidelines did not allow him to pass a longer term if they are just guideline, why not a much longer jail term?

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  • dontyaknow  |  October 15 2012, 6:37PM

    This story makes me sick, how can people keep getting away with crimes like this in our country? It's horrific that Matthew now has to spend the rest of his life like this because one bloke could not control himself when he drank too much. And what is really scary is that it was completely random - Matthew did not provoke him in any way, the scumbag just hit him. It could have been anyone reading this story now sat in Matthew's wheelchair - all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hate that people seem to think that because they have been drinking and they 'don't know what they are doing', that they are somehow innocent. People choose to drink that volume of alcohol so they must take the consequences for their actions. I'd like to see tougher sentences imposed on people who drink and recklessly ruin other peoples lives. And whilst I am at it - build some more prisons. I have heard rumours that Gloucester is shortlisted to be closed! The prisons are over crowded and as such criminals are getting lighter sentences than they should. Building more prisons will be good for the economy aswell, creating work and jobs for people. People should not be scared to walk the streets of our country - we need more police, more prisons and tougher sentences. Sorry if that sounds authoritarianism but so be it.

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  • jayne80  |  October 15 2012, 5:24PM

    i say get judge bleeding hart out he obviously dont av a clue!!

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  • jayne80  |  October 15 2012, 5:21PM

    Absolutely disgusting he shouldve got way longer because the victim has to suffer for the rest of his life so should he!!!

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