Horsham St Faith victim shocked after attacker received caution

Dean Fox who was attacked at the social club in Horsham St Faith.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Dean Fox who was attacked at the social club in Horsham St Faith.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A man who was kicked and then punched repeatedly in the face as he sat down while enjoying a drink has spoken of his shock after the attacker was cautioned despite admitting the assault.

Dean Fox, a father of two from Horsham St Faith had been drinking with a friend at the social club in the village on Saturday before his night ended in a flurry of violence which resulted in the offender being arrested.

Police today confirmed the man, who admitted the attack, was cautioned as it was 'not in the public interest to put the case before the courts and insisted it was an 'appropriate' course of action in this case.

Mr Fox was sitting talking to the barmaid, his friend's cousin, towards the end of the night when he was suddenly kicked and punched several times from behind as he sat in his chair.

The 52 year old said: 'I didn't even know he was there. I sat down and finished my drink and was about to go home when all of a sudden he kicks me in the face from behind. I didn't even see it coming because I didn't think he was there.'

He added: 'I was stunned for a second and then blows were being rained down on the back of my head.'

Drinks were sent flying across the table as a result of the attack which also shocked onlookers who stepped in before the attacker left.

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Initially Mr Fox said he was not going to report it to police but decided to after he discovered he had suffered loosened teeth as a result of the assault which has resulted in him needing extensive dental treatment.

The offender was arrested and taken to Aylsham Police Investigation Centre (PIC) where he was interviewed and admitted the offence, claiming it was because Mr Fox was 'in his seat', but was later released after being issued with a caution.

Mr Fox, a builder who lives at Crown Road, Horsham St Faith, has since been informed by police about the caution - a decision which has left him mystified.

He said: 'I just think what kind of deterrent is that? It means people can just go and kick people in the face and punch them several times while they're sat down and get away with it. 'I thought it was disgusting.'

Mr Fox said while he felt there was something which had gone wrong with the system to come up with this decision, adding 'I certainly didn't expect that kind of outcome.'

A spokesman for Norfolk police said: 'A 64 year old male was arrested on Sunday, May 12 in connection with the incident and questioned at Aylsham Police Investigation Centre where he admitted the offence in interview.

'A caution was given in this case as it was felt it wasn't in the public interest to put the case before the courts. The victim sustained two cuts to his chin and a loose tooth.

'It should be remembered that receiving a caution can affect a person and their choices for the rest their life; it can be disclosed during criminal records checks no matter how far back they go and can be taken into consideration by the courts if the person is convicted of a further offence.

'It is important for our communities to be reassured that the use of cautions is appropriate, proportionate and in line with the overall aims of the justice system, and that those cases that need to be placed before a court will be.'