Year's youth custody for 'happy slapper' chef

PUBLISHED: 14:29 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:00 10 June 2010

A chef who was involved in a 'happy slapping' attack where the assault was filmed on the victim's mobile phone has been sent to youth custody for a year. Exeter Crown Court heard Barry Solway was repeatedly punched and kicked in the chest and head by

A chef who was involved in a 'happy slapping' attack - where the assault was filmed on the victim's mobile phone - has been sent to youth custody for a year.Exeter Crown Court heard Barry Solway was repeatedly punched and kicked in the chest and head by two men. The attackers used Mr Solway's mobile telephone to capture the ferocious assault.The phone was later found in the possession of 20-year-old Robert Palmer, who was one of those involved in the incident, which happened in the early hours of the morning as Mr Solway tried to make his way home.Prosecutor David Chidgey said no action had been taken against the other man involved because the only evidence against him was that given by Palmer.Recorder Frank Abbot told Palmer: "This was a serious and nasty assault and I have got to protect the public from gratuitous violence. "This was what is known as a happy slapping assault which was recorded on the victim's mobile phone."You were originally charged with robbery and this is as bad, if not worse, because it makes it more gratuitous, but I accept you were not the instigator of the assault. However, there is no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence."Mr Chidgey said Mr Solway was walking home down Monks Road, Exeter, when he became aware of someone behind him. He was then struck from behind and turned round to ask the man why he had hit him. There was another man on the other side of the road who said: "Are you having a go at my mate?"When Mr Solway said he was not, he was pushed from behind and fell into the road. There he was subjected to kicking and punching from both men and the attack was filmed as it happened. Mr Solway sustained severe bruising to the left side of his face, a completely closed left eye and more bruising to his body.The court heard an hour after the attack Palmer was caught in the city still in possession of the victim's mobile telephone.Mitigating, Jonathan Barnes said the assault by Palmer was wholly out of character and he had never done anything like it before or since. Ironically, the man who had started the incident had got off scot free. He said Palmer had been led astray on this occasion and it was a dreadful incident.Mr Barnes said Palmer now had a full-time job and it was his ambition to join the army.Palmer, who at the time was living in Gordon Road, Topsham, pleaded guilty to theft and assault. A not guilty verdict was entered on the original robbery charge.

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