Football fan was feared dead after savage attack
THE FAMILY of a disabled Pompey fan who suffered a bleed on the brain after being punched to the ground in front of his children said they feared he had been killed.
Andy Carpenter had got off a bus in Oakshott Drive, Havant, when he was shouted at and attacked by his step-daughter’s drunken and cocaine-fuelled ex-boyfriend Barry Doughty.
Staggering around clutching a can of lager, the 25-year-old shouted in a ‘sarcastic manner’ at spina bifida sufferer Mr Carpenter, 51, who ignored him.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Doughty threw his can down, stormed over to the victim and punched him in the head – knocking him to the ground.
Mr Carpenter’s four children, aged 10 to 19, and his wife Samantha, 48, rushed from their home yards away only to see him flat out covered in blood from injuries caused when he hit the pavement.
Doughty then swung a punch at the victim’s stepdaughter, Gemma McComb, 24, who he had previously attacked in an assault on Christmas Day, 2015.
‘It’s affected the children, they didn’t think their dad was going to be alive,’ Mr Carpenter, who was unconscious for 25 minutes, said.
‘I wasn’ t scared of him, I wasn’t going to give in to him.
‘But what he did was a very cowardly way of doing things.’
Doughty, who the court heard had a grudge against the victim, fled as police arrived on July 25 last year.
Prosecutor Matthew Lawson told how Ms McComb said Doughty told her that her stepfather never ‘respected’ him.
‘He said to her on a number of occasions if Mr Carpenter “kept giving him these sort of looks, then I’ll hit him on his tumour and kill him”,’ he said.
In the attack, Doughty had punched him where a scar was left when a benign tumour was removed in 2014.
In a statement in court Mr Carpenter added: ‘I can’t help feel that Barry could drink too much or take drugs and decide to do something to me or a member of my family and this scares me.’
Doughty – known as Denham – of Dunsbury Way, Havant, admitted causing grievous bodily harm. He has 12 previous convictions for 29 offences.
The victim’s family were shocked and upset after judge Claudia Ackner handed Doughty a two-year jail term suspended for two years.
Ms McComb said: ‘We don’t feel protected, we don’t feel safe and we shouldn’t have to feel that way.’
The judge told Doughty: ‘You were fortunate that the consequences for him were not a great deal worse.’
She added: ‘You won’t get another opportunity like this.’
Doughty must pay £500 compensation, complete 15 days rehabilitation, complete 80 hours of unpaid work and abide by a lifetime restraining order banning him from contacting the victim.
Barry McElduff, for dad-of-one Doughty, said he had a job, stable relationship, and had made ‘determined efforts’ to stop drinking. He said the tumor had not been targeted – otherwise the charge would be GBH with intent.