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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cumbrian man jailed for brutal attack on unconscious victim

A man has been jailed for the part he played in a “brutal assault” in which he kicked a man in the head while he was unconscious.

Karl Stephen Sharkey, 26, of George Street, Whitehaven, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court to 22 months in prison for theft and assaulting two men.

He was sentenced alongside Shaun David Richardson, 20, of Hill Crest, Workington, and Scott Foster, 23, of West View Road, Distington, who both admitted assault.

The court heard how in April last year the three had been drinking and were out walking in Whitehaven when they encountered Stuart McKinnon and started shouting abuse at him.

Mr McKinnon approached the men and asked for an apology but was then followed by Richardson, then 19, and Foster who said their friend Sharkey would “knock him out”.

He was then hit in the face by Richardson and when he tried to get up was struck again, this time by Foster.

Despite already being knocked out, Sharkey then kicked Mr McKinnon in the head before stealing his mobile phone, wallet and a packet of cigarettes.

Later in the evening the three men attacked Gerard McCracken, leaving him needing stitches in his head. During the attack Richardson headbutted Mr McCracken.

Richardson was sentenced to 18 months in prison which was suspended for two years, ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and was put under a curfew.

Foster was given 12 months in prison suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order, put under a curfew and ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Judge Paul Batty QC also heard how the attacks had left a lasting impact on the victims.

Prosecutor Kimberley Obrusk, speaking of Mr McKinnon, said: “He is now anxious when he goes out. He now doesn’t like being on his own in public and has a scar on his right eye.”

Of Mr McCracken, she added: “He now finds himself stressed and doesn’t like going out in the open. He leaves the town centre prior to it getting busy.”

Upon handing out the sentences, the judge condemned the attacks as “brutal”.

“It is perfectly clear that a lone man was targeted by the three of you.

“It was a brutal assault but by far and away the most serious aspect was that on a lone man in a back lane you (Sharkey) ran up and delivered a kick to the man’s head.

“He was helpless and unconscious and you did that to him.

“If that wasn’t bad enough you then rifled his property and clothing, stealing a wallet, mobile phone and cigarettes.”

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