CPS stand by Lynn attack sentences

Prosecutors in Norfolk will not challenge the sentences of seven men who escaped a jail term after being caught on CCTV punching, kicking and spitting on two Polish workers.

Prosecutors in Norfolk will not challenge the sentences of seven men who escaped a jail term after being caught on CCTV punching, kicking and spitting on two Polish workers.

The men received suspended sentences at Norwich Crown Court on Monday after six admitted violent disorder and one was convicted of the same charge, despite the judge, Mr Justice Cooke, describing the incident in November as a “ferocious and unprovoked attack on two vulnerable men”.

The day after the ruling, Chief Insp Neil Firm took the unusual step of approaching the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider appealing the suspension of the sentences.

Yesterday, Andrew Baxter, prosecution team leader for the western area, said that following discussions with the police, a decision had been taken not to launch an appeal.

He said: “The CPS view is that these sentences are not ones which we would wish to challenge. The sentences are not unduly lenient.”

On Tuesday the case was re-listed at court to consider forcing the offenders to pay compensation to the victims. The judge ruled against this, saying some of the men would not be able to pay.

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The police confirmed that the force's west area antisocial behaviour co-ordinator was reviewing the case.

Charles Joyce, a King's Lynn county councillor and former head of West Norfolk's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, said: “I was deeply shocked by the violent images on the CCTV cameras.

“They were brutal scenes that sickened me to the stomach.”

He wondered whether prison overcrowding was behind the non-custodial sentences.

Jody Tooke, 25, of Saddlebow Road, King's Lynn; Ben Watson, 20, of Chadwick Square, Lynn; Ben Winchester, 21, of Wisbech Road, Lynn; John Plummley, 22, of Burnham Avenue, King's Lynn; Jack Nesbitt, 20, of Hinchingbrooke Close, South Wootton; and Christopher Tibbs, 22, of Saddlebow Road, Lynn, all pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Liam Wintin, 19, of St Edmundsbury Road, Lynn, was convicted of violent disorder following a trial.

They all received a one year jail sentence, suspended for two years, and were ordered to do a total of 1,280 hours of unpaid work.