Cancer victim hits out over release
A terminally ill cancer sufferer beaten up by a teenage thug has expressed his dismay and disbelief after his attacker walked free from court.
Reece Kent, 19, punched grandfather Ken Oliver, 62, in the face and then kicked him repeatedly as he lay on the floor, before walking away laughing.
The brutal attack at Mr Oliver's house in Park Lane, Broxbourne, Herts, is believed to be a case of mistaken identity. It left Mr Oliver bruised from head to toe and needing hospital treatment, he said.
But Kent was spared jail at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire after pleading guilty to wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm, a court official said.
Instead, he was handed a six-month sentence at a young offenders institution, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £1,000 in compensation.
Mr Oliver, who has been told he will die from his kidney cancer, said: "I'm more than gutted. I just don't believe that can happen in this country, that they can walk out.
"I think he should have been locked up straight away. I would have liked to see him get a nice long prison sentence."
He described watching numbly in court with his wife Pauline, 64, and son Tony as the sentence was passed on October 18.
"I had no reaction, I was just dead," he said.
He has written to the Crown Prosecution Service to request a retrial and is waiting to hear from them, he added.