Two men have been jailed for an unprovoked assault in Tunbridge Wells which left a teenager suffering injuries including a fractured neck.
Wayne Butterworth and Chay Hart repeatedly punched and kicked the victim during an ordeal which continued as he lay curled up on the floor.
The victim, who has autism, was assaulted on 19 January 2019 whilst walking along Greggs Wood Road. He would often speak his thoughts out loud and as he passed Butterworth and Hart asked them ‘what are you looking at?’
The pair made threats he would be beaten if he said anything else and a short time later the victim walked past them again. On this occasion he again spoke about being looked at, prompting Butterworth to chase him and throw him to the ground. Butterworth then started to punch and kick him. A short time later he was joined by Hart and the assault continued as the victim lay curled into a protective ball.
The victim was later taken to hospital where it was discovered he had sustained a fracture to his neck. He also suffered a broken tooth and bruising to his face. An investigation was launched by Kent Police which led to the arrests of both suspects on 12 February. Hart, aged 30, of Crundwell Road, Tunbridge Wells and Butterworth, aged 50, of Greggs Wood Road, Tunbridge Wells were both charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm.
They pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Thursday 28 November Hart was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment. Butterworth was sentenced to two years and four months. Both men were also made subject of an eight year restraining order.
Detective Constable Dan Williams of the West Kent Vulnerable Investigation Team said: ‘Butterworth and Hart were responsible for what was a violent and utterly cowardly assault on a vulnerable and defenceless young man. Their actions could easily have caused far greater injury. I have no doubt the psychological impact will also stay with the victim for a very long time and I only hope he will be able to take some reassurance now that justice has now been served.’