Wrexham attacker boasted about knocking man unconscious

Published date: 17 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN who punched and knocked unconscious a singer at McDonald’s and then boasted about what he had done on Facebook has been jailed.

Lee Anthony Baran, 22, had never been in any trouble before and was described in court as a quiet and placid young man.

But CCTV showed that when he was drunk on Champagne he punched a young man to the floor – and then punched him again as he lay unconscious and helpless.

Baran, of Lilac Way, Wrexham, admitted assaulting Jamie Aled Hamlington, who had since found it difficult to concentrate on his studies and had been unable to continue singing with his band as a result.

District Judge Andrew Shaw, sitting at Flintshire Magistrates Court yesterday, told Baran that when he was drunk he punched the other young man to the ground.

“He was unconscious on the floor when you punched him full-force when he was utterly defenceless,” he said.

The consequences had been serious and he re-lived the trauma of the incident on a regular basis.

Baran had no previous convictions and the judge said that he had been told that he was of a quiet, industrious nature.

One might therefore have expected that he would have been immediately sorry for what he had done, Mr Shaw said, but his post on social networking site Facebook did not indicate remorse.

Only immediate imprisonment was appropriate, he said.

Baran was jailed for 12 weeks and he was warned that if he had been convicted after a trial then it would have been a 26 week prison sentence.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, played CCTV footage of the incident at McDonald’s in Wrexham at 11.40pm on September 20 and said it was the prosecution case that it was an unprovoked attack.

Victim Mr Hamlington, 18, entered McDonald’s with friends. His girlfriend was already there but following a verbal exchange, when Mr Harlington asked Baran not to speak about his girlfriend in such terms, Baran got up and followed the victim, who was walking backwards towards the exit.

He was punched to the side of the head and fell to the floor clearly unconscious. He was then punched again when he was totally unconscious and unable to defend himself.

The victim was taken to hospital with a gaping wound to the head and other injuries, the court heard.

Interviewed, Baran said he and friends had shared five bottles of Champagne.

He could not remember what was said and he could not remember what he had done because he was completely drunk.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Hamlington said he had been angry to see on Baran’s Facebook page how he had been bragging about the fact that he had knocked someone unconscious at McDonald’s.

It had been deleted later but the victim had copied it.

He was scared to go into Wrexham and could barely sleep. He was a singer in a local band which he really enjoyed but his injuries made it difficult for him to sing.

The victim said he found it difficult to eat and drink, difficult to concentrate and difficult to keep up with his studies.

Ceri Lewis, defending, said that she had not been unaware of the Facebook element of the case.

Her client was extremely disturbed by what he had seen himself do on the CCTV when he had consumed an awful lot of Champagne.

It was his case that he had been chatting to a young woman, her boyfriend approached and quite rightly took exception.

Miss Lewis claimed that it was not Baran but a friend of his who was initially involved in a verbal altercation with Mr Hamlington.

But whatever had happened, Baran completely accepted that he overstepped the mark, particularly with the second blow.

That was clearly the main aggravating feature that he had struck someone who was already unconscious.

“He is thoroughly ashamed of himself,” she said.

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