Boxing Day Tsunami victim behaved 'like a dog' when he attacked another man
BOXING Day Tsunami victim Charles Ranford behaved ‘like a dog’ when he attacked another man in a Gloucester club and bit him on the nose, a court heard on Friday.
Victim Leonard Thomas, who was thrown to the floor in the Registry Club, suffered nasal injuries which needed hospital treatment including stitches, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
Ranford, 42, of Hollygrove, Quedgeley, who has a ‘multitude’ of mental health issues including possible post-traumatic stress disorder, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Thomas causing actual bodily harm on November 2 last year.
He was given a 40-week jail term suspended for 18 months and placed under supervision for a year.
Recorder Jonathan Barnes also made a three-month curfew order requiring him to be indoors on six nights a week from 11pm until 7am.
The curfew will not apply on Wednesday nights, when he does charity work.
At an earlier hearing the court had been told that as well as being a victim of the tsunami Ranford had also been subjected to an ‘appalling attack’ which left him needing facial reconstruction surgery.
Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said Mr Thomas was out for the night with friends and was at the bar in the Registry when Ranford walked past. The two men knew each other and had been involved in a ‘minor altercation’ eight or nine months earlier.
“Mr Ranford leapt at him and attacked him,” said Mrs Hennessy.
She said witness Richard Savory described seeing Ranford’s mouth on Mr Thomas’ nose when they were on the floor.
“He could see blood coming from Mr Thomas’ face and tried to pull Ranford off.”
In a statement Mr Savory said: “He was literally at it like a dog would be.”
Ranford ran from the club after the assault but was seen outside by a police officer, who arrested him. He was covered in blood.
Interviewed by police the next day Ranford said he had gone up to Mr Thomas to see iff all was well between them but had then feared he was going to be hit so he struck a pre-emptive blow.
He denied that he had been deliberately biting Mr Thomas.
The court heard Ranford had made four previous court appearances including one for assault causing actual bodily harm in 2007.
Sarah Jenkins, defending, said Ranford now accepted he had bitten Mr Thomas. He did so when he felt he was surrounded by Mr Thomas’ friends who had gone to his aid, she said.
Ranford was currently signed off work ill because of his psychiatric condition and was awaiting one to on counselling and treatment, she added.
Because he is currently not working he is struggling to pay his mortgage and is under financial strain, she said However, he was an active helper with the local air ambulance charity on Wednesdays.
Passing sentence, the Recorder said: “This was an wholly unjustified unprovoked attack.”
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