Tuesday 28 March 2023
Select a region

Prison after alcohol-fuelled "horror film" attack

Prison after alcohol-fuelled

Friday 03 February 2023

Prison after alcohol-fuelled "horror film" attack

Friday 03 February 2023

A 34-year-old offender, whose "savage" drunken attack on a man left witnesses fearing he would kill him, has been sent behind bars.

Damien John Michael Stearn was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment for the grave and criminal assault - described as like "something out of a horror film" - in the Royal Court this morning.

The attack, which involved multiple punches and stamps to the head, happened on 8 September 2022, while Stearn had been drinking at a friend's flat.

Laying out the facts of the case, Crown Advocate Carla Carvalho, prosecuting, explained that, when the victim entered the property, Stearn punched him, causing him to fall to the floor where he hit his head on a table and was knocked unconscious.

Stearn continued to assault him, punching him and elbowing him in the face.

A friend called for help, and another man came and attempted to pull Stearn off the victim, to which the he replied: "If you don't stop, you will be next."

He then stamped on the victim's head several more times. Stearn was described as "raging" and red in the face, shouting throughout. One witness to the grave and criminal assault described it as "something out of a horror film".

"It was a violent and sustained attack which lasted around 10 minutes with multiple blows," Advocate Carvalho explained.

The court heard that the victim suffered cuts to their lips and eyebrow, bruises on their face and arms and a fractured knee, which Stearn had twisted in order to cause the fracture.

Advocate Carvalho explained that the victim still feels pain "all the time" when he walks, and needs "painkillers to get from A to B."

"They [the victim] are very reluctant to leave the house and see friends, their anxiety has risen to a level it has never reached before," she added, calling for a custodial sentence of two-and-a-half years.

Defending, Advocate Mark Boothman acknowledged a custodial sentence was inevitable for his client, but highlighted that Stearn had already served seven months in custody since the attack and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He went on to explain that Stearn had a "distinct problem with alcohol", but wanted to use his time in prison to "move away" from this.

"He wants to have a life where doesn't drink," Advocate Boothman said.

The advocate said Stearn had a childhood that "you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy", and had spent time in care.

Stearn last appeared before the court in 2014 for grave and criminal assault, for which he received 21 months imprisonment.

He was also sentenced to 14 months' jail in 2020 after being caught carrying more than £500-worth of wine stolen from Beachcombers Hotel in pillow cases as if they were "bags of swag", alongside another man.

The Royal Court agreed with the Crown Advocate's recommendation, and also gave Stearn a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim.

Handing down the sentence, Deputy Bailiff Robert Macrae, presiding, called it "another savage assault" carried out by Stearn.

He said: "You told the probation service that, in some ways, you wanted to go to prison and this would hurry it up, the probation officer says that you have a dangerous attitude and you've shown a distinct moral ambivalence."

"From a statement provided by the victim they described it as a vicious assault that changed my life, they cannot run or dance, they are reluctant to see friends, he walks in pain and the thought of seeing you makes him feel unsafe," he added.

Jurats Andrew Cornish and Alison Opfermann were sitting.

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?