Porthcawl man injured in ‘mistaken identity’ attack

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

By AJ Sicluna

in Crime

A local authority worker was so distressed when he attacked a man in a case of mistaken identity, he repeatedly told his victim, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” and accompanied him to hospital.

At Cardiff Crown Court, Christian Thomas (23) of Suffolk Court, Porthcawl, admitted a charge of causing James Latcham actual bodily harm.

He was jailed for eight months, the sentence suspended for 18 months, and directed to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

He was also made subject to three months’ curfew from 8pm to 6am and to pay his victim £1,500 compensation, plus a court surcharge of £100.

Prosecutor Eugene Egan said: “This is a very unusual case.

“In the early hours of February 27, Mr Latcham was walking home in Porthcawl. Thomas was also out that night and had had an argument with a group in the Breeze Club.”

Thomas believed wrongly that Mr Latcham was one of the group and rugby tackled him to the ground from behind.

“He suddenly realised it was the wrong person,” said Mr Egan.

Mr Latcham suffered a broken clavicle, cuts and bruises and was advised to take six weeks off work.

Thomas’s solicitor, Adam Sharp, said: “This was an isolated incident and there is genuine remorse. He accompanied the victim to hospital.

“What had happened was that earlier, Thomas had been set upon by two men.

“He made a big mistake in attacking Mr Latcham and heard him scream when he went to the ground.

“He did everything he could to help him.”

Thomas, said Mr Sharp, had an ill-spent youth when he lived in Maesteg, before moving to Porthcawl.

He said he had been employed for seven years and he didn’t present a risk of reoffending.

Judge Jonathan Furness QC said: “Your victim was wholly unaware of what was about to happen to him, and he fell awkwardly. He continues to have difficulties.”

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