Northampton trio sentenced for their part in violent pub attack in 'depressingly familiar tale'

The group were caught attacking the man on CCTV

Monday, 7th June 2021, 6:00 am
Northampton Crown Court. File picture.

The victim of a vicious pub attack was left unable to go to work and worried about seeing his own daughter, a court has heard.

Northampton Crown Court was shown footage of Alyssia and her brother James Roche, both 25, who were drinking in The Volunteer pub on April 5, 2019, with their friend Paige Horsley, 21.

After the male victim said something about the two women singing James Roche, of King Edward Road, Northampton, was seen on the footage walking to the man and swinging punches at him.

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Trainee nurse Aylssia Roche, of Alcombe Road, Northampton, then pulled the victim to the ground before Horsley, a care worker of Dryden Road, Northampton, began repeatedly punching him to the back while he was on the floor.

Construction worker James Roche, after being held back, began kicking out at the victim. It was unclear whether any of his kicks connected.

The man went to hospital after suffering from cuts and bruising to his face and received stitches to a gash next to his eye, leaving him with a scar. He also blacked-out after reacting to the anesthetic while in the hospital and had to have a CT scan to check there were no more serious injuries.

In a powerful victim impact statement to the court, the injured man said that he had found the emotional scarring more difficult to deal with than the physical scarring.

"After 34 years of socialising in the area with my two best friends, we have totally avoided going into town because I was so frightened of the prospect of seeing them again," he said.

"The assault left me feeling ashamed and humiliated.

"The realisation of how close I came to being blinded in one eye or of there being a fatal outcome has been overwhelming."

He said that he had encountered 'endless sleepless nights', adding that he had had to stop his competitive outdoor swimming and had not been able to go back to work for some time because he was so embarrassed about his scarring.

"I couldn't cope with people's perceptions and didn't want people to judge me as a troublemaker or as a defenceless victim.

"My 11-year-old daughter couldn't understand why her dad didn't want to see her. I didn't want her to have any lasting memory of the bruising, the swelling or the cuts. To this day I've protected her from knowing the reason her dad didn't see her for a month."

None of the defendants had any previous convictions. They all admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Barrister Will Heyward, mitigating for James Roche, said that his client could 'not explain' why he had launched the attack.

"It was completely out of character and he has since taken steps to curb the amount of alcohol he's drinking," he said. "This is something that will change his life."

Liam Muir, mitigating for Horsley and Alyssia Roche, who appeared at Friday's (June 4) hearing heavily pregnant, said that both his clients had grasped the situation by the nettle and taken steps to better their lives since the attack.

"They're absolutely disgusted by themselves," he said.

"They're people who have never seen the inside of a police cell before and their lives are falling apart."

Recorder William Davis questioned why the case had taken two years to come to court and said he would have to sentence the trio on the basis that the defendants had experienced a significant wait.

Prosecuting barrister James Smith-Wilds said he could offer no explanation as to why the case had been in the system for two years, other than delays caused by Covid.

Sentencing the trio, Recorder Davis said: "The delays in the criminal justice system are regrettable and all too frequent.

"The trigger for this incident appears to be some utterly trivial exchanges. It's a depressingly familiar tale."

He said that after a trial, the starting point for sentencing would have been six months in jail for the women and nine months for Roche, but he took the guilty pleas and their lack of any previous convictions into consideration. He also reduced the sentence because of the delays they had experienced in the case coming to court.

"Two years makes a significant difference to one's life. You have stayed out of trouble since the offence was committed."

James Roche was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, as well as a ten day rehabilitation requirement, a three-month alcohol treatment requirement and 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay the victim £300 in compensation.

Alyssia Roche was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. She was also told to pay the victim £200 in compensation.

Paige Horsley was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, a ten day rehabilitation requirement, six months of mental health treatment, 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay the victim compensation of £200.

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