‘Richly deserved’ – judge dismisses biting thug’s sentence appeal

editorial image
Have your say

A THUG caged for a barbaric attack in which a young man was ambushed with baseball bats and bitten savagely on the shoulder “richly deserved” his severe sentence.

Greg Stafford was left “psychologically traumatised” after he was attacked at Lisa Jefferson’s home in Halstead Square, Sunderland, in November 2013.

Neither wrong in principle nor manifestly excessive

He was repeatedly hammered with baseball bats after being confronted by three strangers, Mrs Justice Simler told London’s Appeal Court today.

As blows rained down, one of the attackers shouted, “smash his legs”.

And, as he reeled back from the onslaught, Mr Stafford was bitten and almost choked into unconsciousness.

He needed extensive hospital treatment for gashes to his head and body, but the judge said the worst impact of the attack was psychological.

“He has not been the same since then,” she told the court.

Ringleader, Christopher Lee Ball, of no fixed address, was jailed for nine years at Newcastle Crown Court in July last year after he admitted wounding with intent.

Dubbed a ‘dangerous’ offender, he was also handed a three-year extended licence period.

Ball said he was in a relationship with Miss Jefferson at the time, and was visiting her when he saw a man who he feared was an “intruder”.

He accepted biting Mr Stafford during the ensuing struggle, but denied hitting him with the baseball bat.

Mrs Justice Simler said Ball’s DNA had been traced to the bite marks and that he had a previous conviction for a biting assault.

He had gone to Miss Jefferson’s home because “he was upset that another man was in his girlfriend’s house”.

Although Ball had not wielded the bat, the judge, sitting with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Flaux, said he had “a very bad record for violence”,

He had rightly been condemned as a dangerous criminal and, whilst tough, his sentence was “richly deserved”.

His punishments was “neither wrong in principle nor manifestly excessive”, the appeal judge concluded.