Havering girl who attacked and pulled turban off Sikh man has sentence cut

A teenage girl who was jailed for a humiliating attack in which a Sikh man had his turban pulled from his head and his nose fractured saw her sentence cut by top judges.

Sam Hawthorn, 18, of Montgomery Crescent, Harold Hill, was one of three young girls who followed Davinder Bansal onto and then off a bus, before attacking him last May.

She pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to 12 months’ detention at Blackfriars Crown Court in January.

But on Wednesday, after an appeal by her lawyers, three senior judges cut the sentence to an eight-month detention and training order at London’s Court of Appeal.

Senior judge, Sir John Thomas, the president of the Queen’s Bench Division, said the incident was “deeply humiliating” for the victim, but the sentence had to be cut.

The court heard Hawthorn and the two other girls had followed Mr Bansal onto a late bus, then got off after him and attacked him in Hampstead Road, Camden, north London, on May 21 last year.

After his turban was pulled from his head, he was subjected to an “appalling” attack, Judge Paul Batty QC continued at the Appeal Court, and kicked at least five times in the face.

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“Having regard to the gravity of this case, complete with the fact that the lone individual was targeted at night, followed on a bus and then attacked by a group, involving the very, very unpleasant removing of his religious symbol, custody was inevitable,” continued Judge Batty.

But Hawthorn had spent months subject to 12-hour curfews each day before she was finally sentenced, meaning she was entitled to some time off her sentence, he said.

“The court has to substitute a detention and training order, which, had it not been for the period of curfew, would have been 12 months,” he said.

“But, to reflect the period of the curfew, this appeal will be allowed and this court will substitute a sentence of eight months detention and training order.”