Security guard's anger over sentences

A “courageous” security guard beaten with a truncheon as he confronted shoplifters hit out at the lenient sentencing of his attacker yesterday.Tony Fox, who works at Asda in Norwich, suffered severe facial bruising as he tried to stop two people from stealing Ipod music players worth more than £1,000.

A “courageous” security guard beaten with a truncheon as he confronted shoplifters hit out at the lenient sentencing of his attacker yesterday.

Tony Fox, who works at Asda in Norwich, suffered severe facial bruising as he tried to stop two people from stealing Ipod music players worth more than £1,000.

One of the thieves, Christy Cartman, pulled out a weapon similar to a police baton and beat him around the head and leg.

Yesterday, Cartman, of Cavell Road, Norwich, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court to nine months in prison after admitting actual bodily harm.

After the hearing, Mr Fox questioned the message being sent to violent offenders by the courts.

He has been assaulted several times while working, and last September's attack happened just months before the fatal stabbing of security guard Paul Cavanagh at HMV in the Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich.

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Mr Fox said: “Over the years, I have been punched in the mouth, sworn at and had people pull knives on me - all for doing my job. But this was the most serious incident I've experienced.

“Given what happened at HMV, I think it is important to send out a message that this kind of thing will not be tolerated. That hasn't happened today.”

Cartman, 23, was given a total jail term of three years and three months after also admitting theft, aggravated vehicle taking and robbery.

His brother Joe Cartman, of Birbeck Close, Norwich, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison for robbery, assault and escaping police custody.

Their friend Cherie Raby, of Castle Close, King's Lynn, was sentenced to three months for threatening behaviour. Raby, 27, was also involved in the shoplifting incident at Asda but was dealt with at an earlier hearing.

The latter charges relate to an incident in October when the trio visited flats in Ber Street.

They were confronted by Brian Shearwood, 64, a resident fed up with anti-social behaviour. When he asked them to leave the building, Joe punched and kicked him seven or eight times while Raby spurred him on and Christy took his wallet.

Joe, 25, was later arrested but escaped from a police car while being taken to Norwich Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Duncan O'Donnell told the court that on October 24 he had been handcuffed in the back of the car with all the doors locked, but when the officer left the vehicle on arrival at court, he escaped.

Despite a high-profile police search, including the use of the force helicopter, he remained on the run until November 15 when he handed himself in.

All three defendants have a long criminal history.

In mitigation, the court heard both Cartman brothers had begun to turn their lives around and were no longer taking class-A drugs.

Judge Alasdair Darroch said the attack on Mr Fox was “very serious” and described his actions as courageous. The attack on Mr Shearwood was “a savage assault close to his own home”.

After Joe Cartman's escape, the force carried out a review of its procedures and the officer in question was “given words of advice”, said a spokesman.