A violent thug punched a hotel receptionist after being told there were no rooms left before brutally stamping on the worker’s head.
Joshua Leatherland attacked Thundiyil Abraham at the Ibis hotel in Newport, south Wales on July 16. The 23-year-old went on to assault a woman who had accompanied him.
He became angry when told there was no availability and left Mr Abraham with severe injuries including a painful hairline fracture to his rib, WalesOnline reports.
After being told by the victim that they couldn’t stay, Leatherland and his female companion continued to demand a room and he offered Mr Abraham an extra £100, but was refused.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard the defendant would “not take no for an answer” and upon returning from the toilet he continued his protestations.
Having initially appeared to be leaving, Leatherland returned with his companion and began shouting at the victim. Prosecutor Ffion Tomos said the defendant lifted the entrance counter in the private reception area, called Mr Abraham a liar and punched him to the face repeatedly.
Ms Tomos added: “Mr Abraham fell to the floor and whilst on the floor the defendant proceeded to stamp on his head on a number of occasions. As Mr Abraham tried to get up he was stamped to the head and back area.
“The defendant was kicking Mr Abraham as he lay helplessly on the floor. The female companion was shouting ‘Don’t stamp on his head, don’t stamp on his back’.
“Mr Abraham could feel forces and blows being directed towards his head and back. He was stamped by the defendant and felt the defendant digging his heel and twisting it. He was unable to escape and the next thing he remembers is getting up and everything spinning in front of him.”
The court heard Mr Abraham was assisted by a hotel guest but Leatherland turned his attentions to the woman and forcefully pushed her to the floor. She did not cooperate with the police and did not provide a statement. Both attacks were captured on CCTV and were played at the sentencing hearing.
As a result of the assault, Mr Abraham suffered a hairline fracture to his rib, bruising to his back, shoulders, and spine and swelling. In a victim personal statement, he said he had suffered difficulty breathing and had to take strong painkillers to deal with the pain of his injuries.
He was unable to drive because of his injuries and a holiday to visit family in India was ruined because of hospital appointments. He is on holiday leave from work but would suffer financially as he was worried about going back to work.
Mr Abraham continued: “This is the worst behaviour inflicted on me in the role I have carried out. I am extremely worried about going back to that job and it’s causing me panic but I support my family financially. My wife and children are very worried about me and they’re upset.”
Leatherland, of Coniston Close, Newport, was arrested in Malpas Road but refused to engage with police and became aggressive. When he was taken into custody, he said he was “proud of the fact” he had been to prison for punching a female police officer and said it “felt amazing” when he threw punches at her and kicked her.
An officer noted the defendant had blood on his shoes, but he attempted to lick it off in an attempt to dispose of evidence.
He later pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating. The court heard he had previous convictions for numerous violent offences including assaults, violent disorder and assaulting emergency workers.
Defence barrister Stuart John said the defendant had “gained some objectivity” about his behaviour when drunk. He said Leatherland had lost his grandmother in the weeks leading up the assaults and decided to go out and get drunk which caused him to behave in an “appalling manner”. Mr John said his client is planning to take courses on victim awareness and alcohol awareness.
Sentencing, the Recorder of Cardiff Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said: “This was frankly a cowardly attack entirely in character for you looking at your antecedence.
Mr Abraham was minding his own business at work trying to support his family. He told you truthfully there were no rooms and being told no by someone made you so angry you launched and unprovoked attack on him.”
Leatherland was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment.
He was also made subject to a restraining order preventing him from contacting Mr Abraham and attending the Ibis hotel in Newport for 10 years.