Three men who acted “like a pack of animals” were told their behaviour was “disgusting” as they were handed suspended detention sentences for affray.
Kacper Korolewicz, 18 and Declan Thomas, 19, from Swindon, and Ryan Chesterman, 20, from Gloucester, were all teenagers when they were involved in an attack on a man, his mother and his girlfriend’s mother in Cricklade in August 2020.
Prosecutor Kerry Maylin told Swindon Crown Court how the victim had been “targeted” by the group when he was out with his girlfriend. Another youth defendant, who had already been sentenced, started the attack by punching him.
His girlfriend managed to get away and ran home. The victim’s mother and his girlfriend’s mother went to help “diffuse the situation” and tried to assist him. They “felt was under attack” as he had been pushed into a thorn bush by the youth defendant and Korolewicz.
The court heard how the male victim had been kicked in the face by Chesterman and lost consciousness while his mother was kicked by Thomas.
The other mother also revealed she had been kicked “by all those involved” and said she was bruised when she tried to pull one of the defendants off her daughter’s boyfriend.
The male victim ended up with a chipped tooth, an injury to his lip and cuts to his arms and legs. He suffered from pain in his back, ribs and leg after the attack as well as sickness and dizziness.
The other victims received bruises and one of the mothers had cuts on her knee.
Ms Maylin read out personal statements from all three victims to highlight the mental impact the attacks had had.
“Now when I leave the house, I’m looking over my shoulder even walking to the shop,” the male victim said.
“I feel as if I’m being followed, taunted and laughed at. My heart rate increases and my palms get sweaty.”
His mother said her quality of life has “massively declined” since the incident and mentioned that her attackers had “laughed, waved or gestured” at her when she saw them in her car afterwards.
“I know they’re doing it to make me distressed. I find myself leaving the curtains shut downstairs in case they pass.”
The other victim revealed that she has “chest palpitations” when she hears teenagers’ voices.
She added: “I’ve seen them [the defendants] around. If they hit me and I’m a female, what are they capable of?”
Swindon Crown Court heard from Chesterman’s advocate Emma Hillier that this was “very much an isolated one-off incident” for her client who has no other convictions.
Korolewicz’s counsel Richard Williams acknowledged his client’s previous convictions for battery and assault on an emergency worker, saying that “he was and still remains immature”.
Mr Williams added: “There was a pattern of offending emerging but I hope Your Honour can see that pattern has diminished.
“There is a real prospect of rehabilitation and he has prospects for the future.”
And Tim Akers, defending Thomas, said the defendant had “done a lot of growing up” in the past 20 months and noted he is now in full-time employment after going through a “tough time” emotionally.
Summing up, Recorder David Chidgey said: “This was disgusting behaviour. You behaved like a pack of animals.
“Most of us – if we think someone has perhaps insulted us – shrug our shoulders and move on.
“There’s nothing normal about this behaviour.
“Afterwards, self-preservation would’ve kicked in. You would’ve justified it to yourselves and blamed the victims when you only have yourselves to blame.
“There is some evidence of remorse from all of you and it is relevant it happened 20 months ago.”
Kacper Korolewicz, of Severn Avenue in Haydon Wick, was handed a ten-month sentence suspended for 18 months. He must pay £500 compensation to the youth victim, complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Thomas, of Hughes Street, received a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months. He will have to work 100 unpaid hours, complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay a total of £400 to the victims.
Chesterman, of Linden Lea in Cirencester, was given a seven-month sentence suspended for 18 months. He must pay £500 compensation to the youth victim, complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.