Thugs jailed for leaving Southam man with catastrophic injuries

17/07 Updated: 17/07 08:33

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TWO vicious teenage thugs have been caged for a total of 18 years after leaving a Southam man unable to walk or talk with a “catastrophic” brain injury.

Jack Bryant and David Van Kesteren, both 19 and from Radford Semele and Ufton respectively, attacked 42-year-old Frederico 'Rico' Rosso in his own home in Ascote Way in August last year.

He had been beaten so severely he is expected to need 24-hour care for the rest of his life and his mother Maria Rosso believes the pair “as good as killed him”.

Bryant, who pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and also admitted supplying cannabis that night plus a separate common assault, was sentenced to ten years detention.

Van Kesteren, who admitted a further charge of arson, was sentenced to eight years.

A third teenager, 19-year-old Jake Hall of Princethorpe, was sentenced to two years detention after admitting an alternative offence of maliciously causing grievous bodily harm on the basis he had driven the other two to Mr Rosso’s home, plus an offence of common assault.

Warwick Crown Court was told by prosecutor Simon Phillips that Mr Rosso had some issues with drink and drugs, explaining how he knew small-time cannabis dealer Bryant.

Just after midnight on August 19 last year Mr Rosso made a 999 call on his mobile phone as voices could be heard laughing in the background.

When police arrived they forced their way in and found Mr Rosso face-down on the floor with life-threatening head injuries and struggling to breath, and he was rushed to University Hospital in Coventry.

Based on what they said in police interviews and their bases of plea, the attackers had been drinking and went to Mr Rosso’s home to buy pills from another man who sometimes stayed there.

Bryant then punched Mr Rosso without warning, perhaps because Mr Rosso would not tell them where the other man was.

It was the start of a ferocious attack in which Bryant punched Mr Rosso about ten times, knocking him onto the sofa and floor where he kicked or stamped on his head, at which point Van Kesteren also stamped twice on his head.

Martin Groves, for Bryant, apologised to the Rosso family on his behalf, adding: “He is extremely remorseful.”

Jamie Strong, for Van Kesteren, and Andrew Tucker, for Hall, made similar comments.

Jailing the three, judge Robert Orme told them it had been a “frantic and violent” assault, the consequence of which were “quite dreadful”.

He added: “Two of you have pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. There are other offences, but they pale into insignificance by comparison.

“The most serious aspect of this case are the dreadful injuries suffered by the victim

“He will never be able to walk, talk or think as others – and all that at the age of 42.”

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