Black racist failed to return from court lunch break.

Posted: November 7, 2009 in Law & Disorder

IlieA black man who hit a white student over the head with a wheelbrace went on the run shortly before being convicted by a jury.

Judge Martin Picton sentenced Kevin Thomas to nine years’ jail in his absence after being told the 47-year-old had failed to return to Gloucester Crown Court after the lunch break.

The judge then issued a warrant for the arrest of Thomas, of Cromwell street, Gloucester.

Thomas launched a racism-fuelled attack on Benjamin-Baines Young, whom he had called a ‘Saxon’ and a ‘white boy’.

Judge Picton passed sentence after the jury returned with a unanimous verdict this afternoon that Thomas was guilty of wounding student Mr Baines-Young with intent to do him grievous bodily harm on September 19 last year. Thomas had denied the offence and claimed during the five day trial that he was acting in self defence and had the wheelbrace in his hand to protect himself from Mr Baines-Young.

Thomas had been present throughout his trial but disappeared at lunchtime when the jury had been out for more than two hours considering its verdict.

When the jury returned, defence barrister Leroy Hendry said: “The last information I have is that just before the lunch adjournment he left the building with tears in his eyes.”

Passing sentence on the missing defendant – who has a long criminal record – Judge Picton said: “This was a very nasty attack involving the defendant seeking retaliation following an earlier scuffle between them.” The judge said he was satisfied that following a skirmish in the High Street, Cheltenham, between Thomas and Mr Baines-Young, the defendant got a wheelbrace from the boot of a car and went in pursuit of the first year student. “When he found him he struck a blow which caused a cut on the head which bled profusely,” said the judge. “It is fortunate that the victim’s injury was not worse because this was potentially a very nasty weapon.
“The defendant was in my view using racist language in both the first and the second stages of this incident and there was a racial element to this attack. “He behaved appallingly.”

During the trial the jury heard Mr Baines-Young and two friends were leaving a night club in High Street, Cheltenham, in the early hours of September 19 last year when they were approached by Thomas.

Thomas called Mr Baines-Young a ‘Saxon’ and asked the mixed-race girl with him why she was associating with a ‘white boy’.

There was a fight between the two men which was broken up and Thomas left the scene while Mr Baines-Young and his friends walked into the Promenade.

Thomas pulled up in a car and advanced towards Mr Baines-Young, a public relations student from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, with the wheelbrace. He struck him over the head with it, causing a 3cm gash which needed hospital treatment.

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