22-year-old jailed after ‘horrific and thuggish’ assaults at Stevenage Leisure Park
PUBLISHED: 18:33 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 03 August 2019
A 22-year-old man who launched unprovoked attacks on two men at Stevenage Leisure Park has been jailed for nine years.
Harry Stanley cut a man with glass, kicked and punched him and knocked a second man unconscious just after 3am on Friday, May 3. When police came to arrest him, Stanley swore and spat at them and then kicked a police car.
Prosecutor Andrea Scott-Lynch played CCTV of assaults in St Albans Crown Court on Friday, July 26.
The first victim had been out with friends at Bar & Beyond nightclub, and was heading towards the nearby McDonalds when he heard shouting. He saw Stanley with a glass in his hand confronting another man, and went over to intervene.
Stanley said: "Who the f*** are you?" The glass was knocked from his hand, but he picked it up and threw it at the victim - causing a deep cut to his eyebrow.
As the victim fell to the ground, Stanley kicked him in the face and then repeatedly punched him. He suffered a broken jaw, two chipped teeth, a gash to his head and cuts on his nose.
Five or 10 minutes later, a student, who had also been in Bar & Beyond, was trying to get a taxi when Stanley approached him and asked "Do you want some drama?"
The student, who had been out celebrating the end of a university project, was then punched in the mouth by Stanley. A second man got involved and tried to keep the peace, but Stanley punched the student a second time. His head hit the ground and he was knocked unconscious for 30 seconds.
The victim suffered a fractured skull, swelling, bruising, a cut lip and two fractured teeth, and had to miss three and a half weeks of university.
Stanley and his friends walked off and got into a taxi, but police stopped the taxi and arrested him. After swearing at the officers, spitting at one and kicking the car, Stanley tried to bang his head on the ground, saying he was going to put himself in the hospital.
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A police van was called to take him to the police station. He spat at one officer in the van and another when he was put in a cell.
Stanley - of no fixed address - pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, causing grievous bodily harm, three charges of assaulting an emergency worker and causing criminal damage to a police car. He has 24 previous convictions for 43 offences.
Jonathan Woodcock, defending, told the court that Stanley had written a letter in which he recognised the damage he had done.
Mr Woodcock added that being under the influence of drink and drugs was no excuse.
Judge Stephen Warner sentenced Stanley to nine years in prison, saying he had a long history of violence.
He said: "These were horrific and thuggish assaults without justification and resulted in very serious injury."
Det Con David Anstey, from the Stevenage Local Crime Unit, said: "Stanley launched these brutal and unprovoked attacks on his two victims, the first who was trying to intervene in an argument and the second who was getting in a taxi to go home.
"His violent drug and alcohol-fuelled outburst left both male victims with painful injuries that caused them to have time off work and studying.
"Stanley then turned his attention to police officers who came to arrest him after members of the public dialled 999. He spat at three officers as they escorted him to the police van, before he kicked the vehicle and damaged it.
"His behaviour was completely intolerable and I hope he uses his time behind bars to take a long hard look at why he chooses to conduct himself in this manner.
"I hope the sentencing is of some comfort to his victims and that they are now able to put this behind them."