‘Let me have a go’: two men rained 20-plus punches on victim as he watched TV

Michael Burchill Photo: Norfolk Police.

Michael Burchill Photo: Norfolk Police. - Credit: Archant

A man was punched repeatedly by two men while he sat watching TV in a city hostel, a court has heard.

The victim, a resident at a homeless hostel in St Clements Hill, Norwich, was sitting in a chair watching TV in a room when we was set upon.

Norwich Crown Court heard the Michael Burchill, 38, and Andrew Harewood, 35, came into the room and “took it in turns to repeatedly punch him to the head, arms and face”.

The attack was said to be in revenge for something Burchill believed the victim had done previously.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Burchill punched the victim about 20 times, while Harewood then said “let me have a go” and joined in.

Mr Ivory said the victim, who tried to cover his face, suffered quite unpleasant-looking injuries in the attack, which happened in the summer of 2018.

Burchill, of Vauxhall Street, Norwich, appeared at court having previously admitted an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) as well as criminal damage after he damaged a phone at the police investigation centre (PIC) after his arrest.

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Burchill also pleaded guilty to two offences of possession with intent to supply class A drugs to an undercover police officer in Norwich in January this year.

Harewood, of Westwick Street, Norwich, also appeared at court for sentence on Thursday, October 8 having admitted assault occasioning ABH.

Jailing Burchill for a total of 32 months, Judge Andrew Shaw said that he essentially recruited Harewood into the “cowardly assault”.

Harewood was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to do 30 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement.

Lori Tucker, for Burchill, said he “makes no excuses” and accepts it was a “disgraceful piece of vigilantism”.

In terms of the drugs offences she said he had a “long-standing addiction to heroin” and felt under considerable pressure after dealers took over his flat and told him to supply drugs.

On behalf of Harewood, Ms Tucker said he had “turned his life around” in the past year, with no convictions - which she said had been “something of an achievement for him”.