Man jailed for vicious attack on journalist

First published in News

A MAN has been jailed for what a judge described as a “disgraceful attack” on a newspaper deputy editor.

Paul Dent-Jones was punched to the ground and was then kicked and stamped on after he left a Chelmsford pub.

A court heard how the well-respected journalist had left Bar Seven in Moulsham Street, after he got involved in a disagreement with former Royal Air Force technician Richard Quinn.

Staff were so concerned over the incident when the pub closed, they kept the men apart and let Mr Dent-Jones go on his way before Quinn left.

But Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Quinn followed Mr Dent-Jones and when he caught up with him, launched a vicious attack.

CCTV shown in court showed Quinn punching Mr Dent-Jones, who immediately fell to he ground.

Quinn, 41, then repeatedly kicked him and stamped on his head before walking off.

Moments later, Quinn is seen returning to a prone Mr Dent-Jones before walking off again.

Seconds later, police arrived on the scene and arrested him.

Quinn, from New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, admitted a charge of attempted grevious bodily harm with intent and was jailed for four years and four months. Judge Karen Walden-Smith told him he would remain on licence from prison for two years after his sentence is completed.

This means Quinn could be returned to prison if he offends again within the next six years.

He had originally been charged with grevious bodily harm, but the court heard how the injuries to Mr Dent-Jones did not support the charge.

Mark Lakin, prosecuting, said both men were in the pub on July 21 this year when they got involved in a “disagreement”.

They separated, but concerned staff kept an eye on them both until closing time when Mr Dent-Jones left first.

Quinn left later and Mr Lakin said he was seen walking down the road with a “purposeful step”.

A short while later, he is seen on CCTV catching up with Mr Dent-Jones, who was described by Mr Lakin as being “the worse for drink”.

Judge Walden-Smith told Quinn his behaviour had been “disgraceful”.

She added: “Your victim was much smaller than you and you punched him with such force he immediately went to the ground.

“You knocked him off his feet and when he fell with his head resting on the kerb, you kicked him and stamped on him deliberately.”

The court heard an impact statement from Mr Dent-Jones showed the assault had knocked his confidence and ease when going out and about.

Mr Lakin said it was “miraculous” Mr Dent-Jones had not received more serious injuries than a displaced nose bone and a cut near his eye.

John Donnelly, mitigating, told the court Quinn had serious problems with alcohol and had been drinking for some 14 hours before the assault.

Quinn had an exemplary 11-year RAF record, was deeply ashamed of his behaviour and had expressed genuine remorse.

Mr Donnelly added: “He has asked for a copy of the CCTV to be always reminded of what he had done.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:59am Wed 29 Dec 10

Balexan says...

What an Idiot, he should be stripped of any medals he has. Anyone who can do this to another person (much smaller than they are) doesn't deserve them! This man was supposed to protect our country and look at what he does to one of his fellow countryman, what an a@se hole, and all because of booze! They should fine the pub as well for serving him alcohol whilst he was under the influence, i believe that is illegal anyway!
What an Idiot, he should be stripped of any medals he has. Anyone who can do this to another person (much smaller than they are) doesn't deserve them! This man was supposed to protect our country and look at what he does to one of his fellow countryman, what an a@se hole, and all because of booze! They should fine the pub as well for serving him alcohol whilst he was under the influence, i believe that is illegal anyway! Balexan
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Thu 30 Dec 10

ElleG says...

Just one example of what happens when our servicemen are left with no support after they leave the military.

They give themselves to our country and do an unimaginable job but are left to readjust alone. Is it any wonder many of these men resort to alcohol to block out the horrors they have seen?

That is, of course, no excuse for violence but we must remember that the full picture of both Mr Quinn's life and that of the events leading up to the incident are not published here. Many are known only to Mr Quinn and Mr Dent-Jones, but other points noted in court have not been published here by Mr Dent-Jones' colleagues.

I fully expect a backlash regarding these comments but things are often not as black and white as they appear in the press.

Full credit to the CCTV operators and emergency services for their swift actions.
Just one example of what happens when our servicemen are left with no support after they leave the military. They give themselves to our country and do an unimaginable job but are left to readjust alone. Is it any wonder many of these men resort to alcohol to block out the horrors they have seen? That is, of course, no excuse for violence but we must remember that the full picture of both Mr Quinn's life and that of the events leading up to the incident are not published here. Many are known only to Mr Quinn and Mr Dent-Jones, but other points noted in court have not been published here by Mr Dent-Jones' colleagues. I fully expect a backlash regarding these comments but things are often not as black and white as they appear in the press. Full credit to the CCTV operators and emergency services for their swift actions. ElleG
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree