Hornchurch thug failed in bid to get jail term reduced for stamping on policeman's head.
PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 October 2010 | UPDATED: 15:53 12 November 2010
A THUG who stamped on a plain-clothes police officer trying to break up a drunken brawl has failed in a bid to have his "severe" jail term cut - despite his family winning the sympathy of a top judge.
Daniel Hendon, of Kyme Road, Hornchurch, was out celebrating a friend’s birthday in London’s West End when he launched the attack on the undercover cop.
The 23-year-old, was jailed for 15 months after he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Southwark Crown Court on May 19 this year.
He was back in the dock at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Wednesday, October 13, where his lawyers argued the sentence was too long because he didn’t realise his victim was a policeman when he attacked him.
But his appeal was dismissed by senior judges, who said the term was “not excessive”, given the “extremely unpleasant” nature of the attack.
Mr Justice Maddison told the court the victim was on duty with another plain-clothes officer in Soho when they saw a fight break out between two groups of men.
The victim went towards the group to try and break up the fight and was punched by two unknown members of the group. He told them he was a police officer, but Hendon struck him on the nose and he fell to the ground.
As he did so, the victim shouted: “Police, get back”, but Hendon stamped on him - aiming for his head.
Hendon was sentenced on the basis he did not know his victim was a police officer, because the Crown Court judge accepted he may not have realised because he was drunk.
The court heard he was fined £150 for common assault in 2008 and given two cautions for public order offences in 2005.
His lawyers argued the sentencing judge did not take enough account of Hendon’s admissions, the fact he did not know his victim was a policeman, or his background and positive character references.
But, dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Maddison said the jail term was justified. The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Roderick Evans, said: “To aim stamps to the head of a man lying on the ground carries with it the risk of causing grave injury.
“We are not able to describe the sentence, even if severe, as one that is manifestly excessive and, although we have sympathy with the predicament faced by his family, we dismiss this appeal.”