Tue, 19 Feb 2019
THE survivor of a vicious, town centre assault has been attacked again – this time by the jailed thug’s older brother.
Darren Thompson approached innocent family man Jake Flowers – who a judge said could have died from the first assault – and headbutted him in the face for “getting my brother put in prison”.
Reading magistrates heard on Thursday that the unprovoked assault stemmed from a previous town centre episode outside the Slug and Lettuce pub.
CCTV footage showed 20-year-old Ben Thompson running up from the side and knocking Mr Flower over with a savage punch to the head.
As 23-year-old Mr Flower lay sprawled, helpless and unconscious, Thompson kicked him in the face.
The savage attack sent Mr Flower’s teeth flying and shattered his jaw in two places, resulting in life-changing injuries and repeated operations.
Ben Thompson, said to have shown “a limited degree of remorse – if any” – then bragged about the attack on Facebook.
He wept as he was sent to a Young Offenders Institution for 12 months last February.
But Mr Flowers’ ordeal was not over, the court heard.
The latest attack happened after an apparent stranger, who had been drinking in the Walkabout bar in Cheap Street, accosted him in the town centre.
Charlotte Webster, prosecuting, said the stranger – 30-year-old Darren Thompson of Sunderland Gardens, Newbury – “said something about getting his brother put in prison”.
She added that, as Mr Flowers turned to leave, “he was grabbed from behind. There was a headbutt and a punch”.
She showed the court photographs of Mr Flowers’ battered and bloodied face, his swollen jaw swathed in bandages once again.
Ms Webster reminded magistrates that “a headbutt is considered an attack with the use of a weapon”.
Mr Thompson admitted assault causing actual bodily harm on July 11 last year.
Mike Davis, defending, said that, unlike his brother Ben, his client had no previous convictions.
He added: “Following this he went to the police station and more or less turned himself in.
“He was visibly upset when he was shown the photographs of Mr Flowers’ injuries.
“It was genuine remorse, it seems to me.
“It was the night of the England versus Croatia match and both he and the victim had had a lot to drink.
“He decided to go and have a word with Mr Flowers about his brother’s situation.”
Magistrates made Mr Thompson subject to a 12-month community order and ordered him to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work.
In addition, he was ordered to pay Mr Flowers £300 in compensation.
Finally, Mr Thompson was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.