A VICIOUS thug who left a teenager fighting for his life after stealing his mobile phone and stamping on his head has been jailed.
On Thursday, December 23, Kingston Crown Court heard how Isleworth resident Ashley Williams, 19, had been drinking with friends in Twickenham on Saturday, March 27 when he left to get the 281 night bus home.
Daniel Burt, 21, of Strawberry Hill Road, had also been drinking with friends in a nearby pub and got on the same bus at 2.26am.
Burt approached the victim and demanded he give him his mobile phone. To avoid further confrontation, Mr Williams handed over the phone and left the bus, only for Burt to follow him down Palmerstone Road, where he began his horrific attack.
Residents were woken by the sounds of Burt mercilessly punching and kicking the victim, one witness told police that they had heard Mr Williams say that 'he didn't want to fight'.
Resident Janine Lane saw Burt walk away from the victim, who was lying on the floor defenceless, only to come back and kick him in the head. She likened the sound of the kick to someone deflating or bouncing a football. After repeated kicks to the head, Burt fled the scene.
The emergency services were called and Mr Williams was rushed to St George's Hospital, in Tooting where he remained in a coma for weeks. He underwent months of rehabilitation for his injuries and still has trouble speaking and concentrating.
After the attack Burt confronted a bystander, Gary Drury, and told him he had beat someone up after they had stolen his girlfriend's phone, and that he feared he may be in a coma.
Mr Drury told police that Burt was aggressive and drunk and had told him that he didn't need the phone and that he did it 'for the fun of it'.
Mr Drury told police that Burt had told him to keep quiet about the incident. Burt was later arrested. He admitted attempted murder.
A witness statement was read to the court by Mr Williams' mother Denise Turner about the attack and the effect it has had on her family.
She said: "It was one of the worst phone calls of my life when the news came that my son was in hospital with life threatening injuries. Life continued for all of us, lost in a bubble of despair. He's not the same Ashley we all knew and loved. He jumps at the slightest noise and while he is happy to go to friends' houses he is not ready to go the pub with his friends like any normal 19 year old should.
"I'm not sure Ashley will ever be comfortable doing that again. I have no feeling towards the person that did this to him. I will never understand how a human being can do this to another human being."
Burt was sentenced to eight years in prison, half of which will be spent on license in the community.
Sentencing him, Judge Nicholas Price, said: "We have heard how his horrific injuries have had a devastating effect on his family, and the term 'bubble of despair' will stay with me for a long long time. The consequences of your actions will continue to have repercussions for Ashley and for his family for many years, if not for life."