Two Norwich men put behind bars for ‘unprovoked attack’

The incident happened near the Artichoke Pub on Magdalen Street in Norwich. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The incident happened near the Artichoke Pub on Magdalen Street in Norwich. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

Two Norwich men have been jailed and a third handed a suspended sentence after an 'utterly unprovoked attack' in the city last year.

At Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday Shane Murphy, 26, of Sleaford Green, was jailed for two years and four months for assaulting James Armstrong and Joe Williams, while Shane Nelson, 20, of Palmer Close, was sentenced to three years prison for the assault and for intimidating two witnesses to the assault.

A third man, Christopher Brown, 27, with an address at Magdalen Road, was given a suspended sentence of ten months in prison.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, told the court that on October 5 last year the three defendants were standing outside Tesco Express on Magdalen Street, and had been drinking, when the two victims, who they did not know, walked by.

The court heard that one of the defendants said something and Mr Williams and Mr Armstrong continued to walk along the street but were followed. The two men were making it clear they did not want any trouble, Mr Sorel-Cameron said, but Brown picked up a traffic cone and threw it at the men and missed. After the victims had reached the Artichoke pub, the defendants caught up with them and Murphy punched Mr Armstrong, who noticed Mr Williams being assaulted by both Murphy and Nelson, the court was told.

Judge Andrew Shaw said that Mr Williams was the 'victim of an utterly unprovoked attack.' The court heard that he suffered a broken jaw, requiring the surgical insertion of a metal plate, while Mr Armstrong is now anxious when he goes to a public place and had to explain his injury to his two-year old child.

The court also heard that on May 19 Nelson demanded two witnesses to the assault to withdraw their statements and showed them a knife.

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Judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Brown to ten months in prison, suspended for one year, as well as 180 hours of unpaid work.

He sentenced Murphy to 27 months for assault causing grievous bodily harm and one month for the common assault on Mr Armstrong.

Nelson was sentenced to two years for the assault and one year for witness intimidation.