Group rained down kicks and punches on woman in street attack

A woman was violently attacked in the street by three people who launched kicks at her face and body.

Mohammed Hafiz, Rebecca Williams, and Charlene Taylor attacked Erin James outside an address in Main Street, Barry, on the evening of April 10 this year.

A court heard Williams, 29, grabbed Ms James by the hair before kicking and punching her to ground. Hafiz, 33, and Taylor, 23, then joined the assault.

At one point Ms James had to roll up into a ball to protect herself from repeated blows to the face, body, and head.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday heard the four had been drinking inside the property that evening and the incident occurred after an argument.

Emma Harris, prosecuting, told the court Ms James visited the address in Main Street in Barry where the three defendants were drinking with a man named Jack Richards.

Ms Harris said Ms James was allowed into the property by Mr Richards but at some point during the evening an argument occurred and she was asked to leave.

Ms Harris said Mr Richards told her to leave on “many occasions” resulting in her being locked outside the property. The prosecutor said Ms James then continued to attempt to request entry from the front door.

Initiating the attack Williams grabbed Ms James by her hair before kicking and punching her to the body and face causing her to fall into the road, Ms Harris said.

Hafiz then joined Williams in kicking Ms James to her face and body, causing her to curl up into a ball in an attempt to protect herself. Taylor also joined in by kicking her and stamped on her face.

Members of the public contacted the police who found all three defendants near the scene on arrival.

Ms Harris said Ms James was heard to say to Williams: “You kicked my f***ing head in” to which Williams replied: “Yeah because you f***ing started”.

The court court Ms James did not receive medical treatment following the assault but had red scratch marks left on her face, a wound to her knee, and a wound to her elbow.

Ms Harris said all three defendants were interviewed by police and admitted their involvement in the incident.

Hafiz, 33, of Barry Road, Barry, Williams, 29, of Albert Street, Barry, and Taylor, 23, of Jewel Street, Barry, all pleaded guilty to a single charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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Hafiz also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, possession of cannabis, and driving without insurance in relation to a separate incident.

Ms Harris said officers saw Hafiz driving a white Ford Focus in Cardiff Road, Barry, at high speed and making “sudden manoeuvres” on July 30.

He was stopped and officers discovered him in possession of a small quantity of cannabis. Hafiz admitted to officers he did not have a licence or insurance and had borrowed the car from a friend who had rented it.

Ms Harris said Hafiz had 22 convictions for 53 offences including battery, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, driving while disqualified, and possession of cannabis.

Kevin Seal, defending Hafiz, said his client deserved credit for his early guilty pleas. “He became involved in something that had nothing to do with him,” Mr Seal said.

“He didn’t know why he became involved other than he was on drink and drugs, which is not an excuse.”

Neil Evans, defending Williams, said his client deserved credit for her guilty plea. Mr Evans said the attack was not premeditated and there was a “degree of provocation” due to a comment Williams claimed Ms James made about her child.

“She has spiralled since a very unfortunate incident when she was 15 years of age,” he said. “Since that unfortunate incident her life has become more and more chaotic and she has descended into drug and alcohol abuse.”

Adam Sharp, for Taylor, said his client’s involvement was brief and was “born out of a misguided sense of loyalty to Rebecca Williams”.

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Sentencing the three Judge Richard Williams said: “You all intended to cause her serious injury and by kicking her in the way you did you must have intended to cause a more serious injury than those which were sustained. This was a group attack on a lone and outnumbered victim.”

Hafiz was sentenced to 14 months in prison for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge. He also received a one-month consecutive sentence for the offence of driving while disqualified making a total of 15 months. He was given no separate penalty for the possession charge. He was banned from driving for 229 days from the date of his incarceration.

Williams was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

Taylor was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for one year, and must complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. She was also made the subject of an electronic curfew for five months.

WalesOnline – Wales News