Man suffered life-threatening injuries after assault by former soldier, court hears
PUBLISHED: 05:31 23 June 2020
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
A man suffered life-threatening injuries after being assaulted by a former soldier following a night out, a court heard.
Jokini Sivo, 33, of Ron Hill Road in Norwich, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mark Bowgen at Queen Street in Norwich on August 12, 2018.
David Wilson, prosecuting, told Norwich Crown Court on Monday (June 22) that Mr Bowgen, who had been socialising with his partner, crossed paths with the defendant, who had been out with friends.
“It is unclear how the men became involved in the dispute,” Mr Wilson said.
CCTV footage showed the defendant approach Mr Bowgen who raised his hands in “a boxing-like stance”, the court heard.
A witness saw Sivo throw an uppercut, knocking the victim to the ground, before punching him four more times.
The defendant was “out of control”, the court heard.
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Another saw the victim “falling like a tree and not moving after he hit the ground”.
Mr Bowgen suffered life-threatening injuries carrying the risk of seizures in the future, the court was told.
In a victim statement Mr Bowgen said he suffered life-changing injuries and lost contact with his children for six months because he felt ashamed he was not their father anymore.
He said that for eight weeks after the assault he was scared to go out alone.
“I get tired in the afternoons and have to sleep. I can’t remember any new things people say to me,” he said.
Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, said Sivo, a former soldier who had moved from Fiji to the UK, was “spoken of in glowing terms by his commanding officer for his professionalism when in harm’s way.”
The defendant had fought daily battles with insurgents in Afghanistan, left the army in 2017 and “found some difficulty in adjusting to civilian life”, the court heard.
Judge Anthony Shaw said that on the night of the assault, Sivo “remembered all too well [his] combat training and forgot altogether [his] training in discipline and self-control”.
Jailing Sivo for 21 months, he said: “You are someone who this country can and should be proud of, but on this occasion you let yourself down, and the impact on your victim and others of you letting yourself down has been overwhelming.”
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