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slideyfoot
12/22/2005 7:05am,
Martial art ace stamped on `defenceless drunk'
Newsquest Media Group Newspapers, 22nd December 2005


A Welsh international tae kwon do expert was jailed for 12 months for taking part in an affray in the centre of Ebbw Vale when two defenceless people were attacked.

One of them had his head stamped upon, Cardiff crown court heard. Gavin McCarthy, aged 28, of Chestnut Close, Rassau, Ebbw Vale, had admitted a charge of affray.

Carl Prosser, aged 20, of Howy Road, Rassau, who admitted a similar charge, was sent to a young offenders' institution for six months. Judge Roderick Denyer told the pair: "It has to be spelt out, stamping into the head area of people on the ground is so serious it has to be a custodial sentence."

The court was shown a ten- minute CCTV video of the incident. The judge said: "It's grotesque to think that those two drunks presented any threat to anyone. They were completely and utterly out of it."

Prosecutor Mathew Cobb said Gavin Lapping and a 15-year-old youth were the victims. Neither made a complaint to the police.

On the night of June 9 they were seen asleep on the pavement in Market Street, Ebbw Vale.

At one point Prosser tried to help them. Later the two went down a lane and lay slumped against a fence. The defendants turned up, and after a "discussion" McCarthy punched the two to the head and kneed them to the body.

At one point he stamped on Mr Lapping's head and Prosser also became involved in the violence.

McCarthy claimed to the police he had been attacked, but later said that he "lost it".

Prosser said there had been no physical confrontation. He agreed that the two victims were drunk and defenceless.

Jeffrey Jones, for McCarthy, said he was a Welsh tae kwon do international and taught local youngsters. "He was a disciplined person, not a tearaway."

On the night he had had eight pints of beer and was extremely shocked and ashamed of his behaviour.

"The two victims had made comments which he regarded as hostile." Sharon Bahia, for Prosser, said: "He too was shocked by the video. He was much less involved than McCarthy. Sadly, he does not know why he became involved.."

The judge said: "The public are appalled by stamping, people are outraged."

He told the pair: "It gives me absolutely no pleasure to sentence you."