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Thug fails to get 18 months jail term reduced
12:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A THUG who inflicted a vicious, unprovoked attack on a man who had returned home from the US to see his dying mother has been told he deserves every day of his jail term.
Michael Jason Burrows was drunk when he punched Nigel Taylor repeatedly in Andover town centre, causing a broken nose and severe swelling to his cheek and jaw.
His actions left the 49-year-old victim so shocked and shaken that he cut short his visit to the UK, costing him £250 extra to change his flights.
Burrows, 22, of Mayenne Place, Devizes, was locked up for 18 months and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge at Winchester Crown Court in May, after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm.
He challenged his sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was “too long” for his crime.
But his appeal was dismissed by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said the term was “not excessive”.
Mrs Justice Thirlwall told the court that Mr Taylor, who lives in the US with his family, was in Andover visiting his mother, who was dying. The judge said his visit therefore had a “particular purpose and poignancy”.
On April 8, he and his brother visited their mother in hospital before going into the town centre for a meal, after which they had a drink and watched football in a nearby pub.
As they left the pub, at about 10.30pm, in what the judge described as a “quiet and lawabiding” manner, Burrows – who had been drinking all evening and was the worse for wear – started shouting at Mr Taylor.
He then approached the victim and, in an entirely unprovoked attack, punched him in the head and face about six or seven times and kicked him in the stomach, before raising his hands in the air in a “victory gesture”, the court heard.
He was arrested at his home later the same evening and was aggressive and offensive towards police officers.
Because of the shock and psychological trauma he suffered as a result of the attack, Mr Taylor later felt he couldn’t bring his children over to attend his mother’s funeral.
Burrows’ lawyers argued his sentence was over the top, saying the Crown Court judge didn’t take enough account of his genuine remorse or his admission of guilt.
But dismissing his appeal, Mrs Justice Thirlwall said the sentence was justified, especially given the sustained, repeated and unprovoked nature of the attack.
Sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, she said: “Drunken violence at night is the scourge of many of our towns.”