PICTURED: Three thugs who attacked optician in Gloucester

THREE men from the Stroud area who drunkenly attacked an optician who tried to break up a fight have avoided immediate jail terms.

All three defendants pleaded guilty at court to assaulting an optician causing him actual bodily harm.

The trio have been named as Liam Hawkins 22, of Lampern Hill, Uley, Jamie Russell 23, of Kidnams Walk, Whitminster and Ben Williams 25, of Church End, Eastington.

Prosecutor Ian Fenny told Gloucester city court yesterday that in the morning of August 29, 2020 the victim was in Gloucester when he came across two men assaulting another man.

The victim tried to separate them from each other – the altercation did stop and he began to make his way home.

“Jamie Russell however turned round to the victim, punching him twice and causing him to fall to the ground,” said the prosecutor.

“Russell was captured on CCTV striking the victim several times to his face.

“Hawkins then ran at the victim, grabbed his clothing and swung a forceful punch to his head.”

The victim was taken to hospital and treated for a cut to the lip that needed a dozen stitches, a cut to his left eye which left a permanent three-centimetre scar as well as an ankle injury.

Russell was jailed for 12 months – suspended for 18 months – and was ordered to pay the victim £1,000 compensation, attend 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay court costs of £250.

Hawkins and Williams were sentenced for eight-month prison terms – suspended for 18 months – and ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work as well as pay compensation of £750 and £250 in court costs.

Steven Young, for Hawkins, said: “His grandfather died six weeks before this incident and on that evening in August he had been taking drugs.

“He is ashamed by his actions and has shown genuine remorse.”

Leanne Ballato for Russell said: “Russell misread the situation when he thought a bottle was being thrown at him and thought that the victim had been responsible.”

Alec Small for Williams said: “We have three young men who made a fundamental mistake in interpreting the facts.

“This has been hanging over their heads for the past year. Williams has been supporting family members who have recently been taken ill.”

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