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Jail for attackers of Southampton cyclist

Pair launched vicious assault leaving rider brain-damaged

A man and a woman who launched an unprovoked, sustained and brutal attack on a cyclist in Southampton have been jailed, reports the Daily Echo.

The twenty four-year old victim, David Baker, was described in court as a timid, non-violent person who had simply been making his way home on June 8 of last year when he encountered a group of four people including Stephanie Hill, 19, from Thornill, Southampton, and John Smith, 27, from Botley on a narrow passageway near Southampton’s Central Bridge shortly before midnight.

High on drink and drugs the group knocked Mr Baker off his bike before Hill and Smith launched an attack in which the cyclist was  repeatedly punched and kicked and even had a bottle smashed over his head.

David required emergency brain surgery and remained in a coma for two weeks after the assault, described by the judge presiding over the trial of Hill and Smith as “cowardly and vicious.”

His life was irrevocably changed by the attack of which he has no memory. He said in statement: “I consider it is unlikely that I will ever be able to do full time work or ride a cycle again.

“I am unable to go shopping and my mother has to take me. My mother has effectively become my carer.

“The injuries have left me feeling like an old man. I feel very angry. I lost eight months of my life by being in hospital. I feel angry I have been left with a lifelong brain injury and my life will never be the same again. I find it humiliating to have to ask for help to do things which before I could normally do myself.”

Hill, a mother,  was jailed for four years for her part in the assault. Smith, who was the main aggressor, has previous convictions for violence and is considered a danger to the public. He received an indeterminate sentence but will serve at least four years in jail before his case can be considered by the Parole Board. He was said to have been on crack cocaine at the time of the incident.

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