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Man jailed for vicious attack on journalist
11:38am Wednesday 29th December 2010 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.”