Former Northampton boxing instructor sees his attacker jailed for brutal assault at house party

Thomas Devine has been sentenced to two years and nine months for an assault on a 64-year-old man.
Thomas Devine has been sentenced to two years and nine months for an assault on a 64-year-old man.

A Northampton man who left a former boxing instructor with injuries that aged him "30 years" and "accelerated" his dementia has been handed a prison term just shy of three years.

Thomas Devine had been at a house party in Northampton on July 22, 2014, when a 64-year-old neighbour knocked on the door to complain of noise at around 1.45am.

But a Northampton Crown Court trial heard how matters escalated fast and a fight ensued between the party-goers and the 64-year-old.

While Devine, 24, of Chadwick Gardens, Rye Hill, faced the jury alongside two others, the co-accused Ashley Lacey and Joshua Smith were acquitted.

When the fight escalated, Devine kicked the 64-year-old to the head, causing "ghastly" injuries.

Devine was handed a sentence of two years and nine months for causing grievous bodily harm by recorder Nicholas Syfret QC at Northampton Crown Court yesterday.

The recorder said: "The jury came to the conclusion that the defendant kicked (the victim) to the head when it was not necessary to do so.

"The external result of the kick was plain to see in the ghastly pictures of the injuries to the victim's head.

"He suffered a bleed on the brain and it is likely his dementia was accelerated as a result of this incident."

Reading out a victim impact statement in court, prosecutor James Armstrong-Holmes, said the 64-year-old's injuries have had a dramatic effect.

He said: "He feels like he is seven-eighths dead.

"The attack has aged him 30 years physically and mentally.

"He talks about being a mirror image of the man he was previously."

Mitigating for Devine, David Lee said this was a case of "excessive self-defence" rather than "excessive force."

He said Devine had acted as a near full-time carer for his grandmother's husband before the court case got underway and had "demonstrated over the last two years and seven months that he was capable of living a life devoid of violence."

Devine will spend at least half of his sentence in jail and half on licence.