Belfast Telegraph

Attacker gets longer in jail as sentence 'too lenient'

The jail term imposed on a man who beat his victim unconscious and then jumped on his head 20 times was unduly lenient, the Court of Appeal has ruled
The jail term imposed on a man who beat his victim unconscious and then jumped on his head 20 times was unduly lenient, the Court of Appeal has ruled

By Alan Erwin

The jail term imposed on a man who beat his victim unconscious and then jumped on his head 20 times was unduly lenient, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Senior judges increased Michael Loughlin's sentence from seven to 11 years for attempting to murder a man in Banbridge, Co Down, in July 2017.

The 22-year-old, of Iveagh Close in the town, will serve half that period in prison and the remainder on licence.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan held that the ferocity of the "horrendous, brutal assault" carried out while Loughlin was on drugs were aggravating features. He said: "This was a persistent attack over a prolonged period where the victim's face was pummelled by the offender's fists and his head was subject to repeated stamping. Much of this continued after the victim's body had gone limp, he was offering no resistance and was incapable of any self-protection."

Loughlin targeted the 40-year-old man outside his Scarva Walk home in the middle of the afternoon following an encounter with his brother.

"The offender continued the assault in a frenzied and uncontrolled fashion by repeatedly kicking and jumping on his head, landing in excess of 20 such blows in a prolonged and persistent action," Sir Declan noted.

The victim spent days in intensive care, with multiple facial fractures. He still suffers post-traumatic stress.

Loughlin pleaded guilty to attempted murder and received a seven-year sentence, half in prison and half on licence.

Lawyers representing the Director of Public Prosecutions argued this was too lenient.

Backing their case, the Court of Appeal cited Loughlin's criminal record and the circumstances surrounding a "frightening attack" carried out in full view of those on the street.

Belfast Telegraph

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