Man in coma after racism row sparks doorstep stone attack

Theatre Street in Swaffham. Picture: GOOGLE STREET

Kirk Brandish has been sentenced after hitting another man with a stone during a fight in Theatre Street, Swaffham. - Credit: Archant

A man had to be put in an induced coma after being struck in the head with a stone following a fight triggered by a racist comment, a court has heard. 

Kirk Brandish, 33, and Stephen Turner became involved in a fight outside a property in Swaffham.

Norwich Crown Court heard Mr Turner had been invited around to Brandish's partner's address in Theatre Street after the victim said he had split with his partner.

But the court was told Mr Turner was thrown out after he made a racially abusive comment to Brandish’s partner.

Mr Turner kicked and broke their back door before going around to the front door and carrying on.

Brandish went out and the two of them fought each other.

Giving evidence in a hearing held on Thursday (July 15), Brandish, who had been drinking, said Mr Turner “wasn’t going away”.

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He said that in an effort to stop Mr Turner coming back at him and to the house - where there were two children and his partner - he picked up a stone and hit him with it. 

He then returned to the house before police turned up to arrest him during which he spat at an officer.

Nicola May, prosecuting, said Mr Turner was placed in an induced coma for 16 hours following the attack on February 16 this year.

Brandish, of Tippett Close, Norwich, appeared at court for sentencing having admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker.

Gavin Cowe, mitigating, accepted a weapon had been used but said excessive self-defence and the fact there was provocation were factors of "lesser culpability". 

He said it was a single blow to the victim with the assault on the emergency worker being a spit after he had been sprayed by police.

Recorder Simon Taylor QC said it was a “serious” incident, adding: "What you did was pick up a stone and hit Mr Turner over the head with it.

“You were lucky, frankly, it didn’t cause more serious injury.”

He said the spitting at the police officer was “despicable and deplorable”.

Brandish was given five months imprisonment, suspended for one year.

He must also undertake a six month alcohol treatment programme, 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR), ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and £250 costs.