A THUG jailed for repeatedly kicking a man in the head and causing a brain haemorrhage has had his prison sentence cut on appeal.
David Sinclair, 25, of Hampshire Place, Peterlee, was jailed for eight years after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating, at Durham Crown Court in October, last year.
Sinclair grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and battered her brother after a 10-hour bender in Durham last May.
However, top judges at London’s Court of Appeal have now upheld an appeal against Sinclair’s sentence, accepting he is genuinely remorseful and has since been a model prisoner, and cut his jail term by a quarter.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Sinclair, the mother of his two children, Gemma Rought, and her brother, Karl Rought, went to a christening in County Durham before heading to a house party on May 6.
A drunken row then followed, with Sinclair attacking Miss Rought.
The judge said: “Miss Rought gave evidence that, during the argument, Sinclair grabbed her around her throat and she could not breathe.”
Mr Rought and a young party-goer tried to intervene but Sinclair pushed them away. “He then turned around as if to motion to Mr Rought and punched him once, hard, to the ground, rendering him unconscious,” the judge added.
Sinclair pushed Miss Rought against a fence and was then seen by a witness to “kick Mr Rought several times to the body and head with very considerable force”.
Miss Rought suffered bruises and a scan revealed her brother had internal bleeding to his brain, with a frontal region haemorrhage, but he has since made a good recovery.
On appeal, Sinclair’s lawyer argued fresh evidence showed his contrition, his subsequent efforts to make amends in jail and provided grounds for a cut in his sentence.
A recent prison report described Sinclair as “level-headed”, “polite” and “respectful towards staff” and a “consistent high performer”.
“It also stresses,” the judge added, “that he shows great victim empathy and bitterly regrets his actions and the events that took place.”
The appeal judge, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Cranston, upheld the appeal and cut Sinclair’s sentence from eight years imprisonment to six.
He said: “We are impressed by this evidence because it demonstrates that, when the sentencing judge was told Sinclair was genuinely remorseful for his actions, the evidence reinforces this is indeed the position.
“And it shows he has a positive attitude to his time in prison and has accepted responsibility for his actions.
“In these circumstances, given this was an isolated incident – serious as it was – we are minded to reduce the sentence imposed by a margin to reflect this new evidence.”