Violent duo handed suspended sentences for attacking man outside Sheffield nightclub

A violent duo who left a man with a fractured skull after attacking him outside a Sheffield nightclub have walked away from court with suspended sentences.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 5:27 pm
Updated Friday, 10th May 2019, 5:08 pm

In the hours preceding the attack on February 3 last year, defendants Benyam Debas, 23, and Ross Lamkin, 22, had both been out in Sheffield drinking, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Debas and Lamkin subsequently attacked their victim, who lives in Peterborough, as he waited for a taxi at the taxi rank outside the Sheffield nightclub he visited to celebrate his 22nd birthday.

Summarising the CCTV footage of the attack shown to the court, Judge Rachael Harrison said: “Mr Debas, you were scrambling with the victim, and attempting to kick him...Mr Lamkin, you hit him so hard you knocked him unconscious.”

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Debas and Lamkin were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today

Prosecutor David Wain said the victim had also been drinking and his first memory of the attack was ‘waking up in a Sheffield hospital’.

“At that stage it appeared he only suffered surface injuries. But when he was travelling back to Peterborough he began to feel unwell and went to Peterborough City Hospital, where it appears they did a more thorough job.

“He suffered a fractured skull, bleeding to his gums, two black eyes and a cut to his head which needed to be glued,” said Mr Wain.

The defendants fled the scene in a taxi after carrying out the attack, but were stopped by police mid-journey after the pair were identified by CCTV operators, the court heard.

In police interview, Lamkin admitted drinking eight pints and said he had a poor recollection of the incident but thought he attacked the victim because he believed he was fighting with Debas.

Mr Wain told the court that after being shown the CCTV footage of the attack, Lamkin said: “I don’t know what to say, it’s not the person I am.”

Debas told officers he couldn’t ‘remember the full details’ but believed someone had spat on him.

The complainant chose not to submit a victim personal statement to the court.

Debas, of Lime Tree Avenue, Armthorpe, Doncaster and Lamkin, of Hawksley Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield both pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that both men have clean criminal records.

Robert Sandford, defending Debas, said: “He expresses remorse for his despicable conduct on that evening.”

“This was out of character,” added Mr Sandford.

Defending Lamkin, Rebecca Tanner, said: Mr Lamkin readily accepts that the incident was thoroughly unpleasant and his was totally unacceptable.”

Ms Tanner added that in the 15 months it has taken for the sentencing hearing to be heard, Lamkin has not ‘repeated’ his offending behaviour.

Judge Harrison sentenced both men to 15 months in prison, suspended for 18 months; to 150 hours of unpaid work and 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

She said she felt able to suspend their prison sentences due to their ‘lack of previous convictions, remorse and personal mitigation’.

“The two of you walked away unconcerned for the man you left on the ground, which shows the sort of men you are,” added Judge Harrison.

Both men were ordered to pay compensation to the victim within the next 12 months. Lamkin, who is in full-time work, was ordered to pay £1,000 while out-of-work Debas was ordered to pay £250.