Youth told he was lucky to avoid prison after two serious assaults

PUBLISHED: 11:12 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

A TEENAGER was punched in the face and had a shard of glass lodged in his eye after a terrifying road rage attack at an Ely petrol station. Timothy Carter, 17, tried to hide his head behind his seat as he was showered with broken glass and blows rained do

A TEENAGER was punched in the face and had a shard of glass lodged in his eye after a terrifying road rage attack at an Ely petrol station.

Timothy Carter, 17, tried to hide his head behind his seat as he was showered with broken glass and blows rained down on him, a court heard.

Just two days earlier his attacker Gavin Fuller, 18, had subjected two American serviceman to a beating while they were on a celebratory night out in Ely.

The men were kicked as they lay on the floor and one needed eight stitches and three staples to his head after the unprovoked attack by Fuller and two other youths, one wielding a baseball bat, Ely Magistrates were told.

During the hearing the court was shown CCTV footage of the midnight attack on the Market Place.

On Tuesday Fuller, of Merlin Drive, Ely, was given a suspended prison sentence for the attacks and told that he was extremely lucky not to be starting a jail term.

The court heard that on January 16, a car Timothy was sitting in was deliberately blocked in by Fuller's car and those of his friends, Ashley Davis and Andrew Benton on the BP garage forecourt on the A142.

Timothy had been told Fuller had a grudge against him and he realised he was "at his mercy with nowhere to go".

The three smashed windows and broke the car door handle, and Fuller then grabbed the teenager, punching him in the face and body.

A shard of glass went into his eye and he was in agony and his vision was blurred, he told police in a statement.

Two days earlier Fuller and another friend, Nathan Farrow, were out in Ely when they were involved in a fight with the two American servicemen.

Fuller admitted to police that he threw the first punch but Farrow said he acted in self-defence.

At an earlier court hearing Fuller had admitted assault, affray, criminal damage and driving without due care and attention. Farrow, 19, of Second Drove, Little Downham had admitted affray.

Davis, 21, of Haddenham Road, Wilburton and Benton, 19, of Croft Park Road, Littleport had admitted criminal damage.

Mitigating for Fuller, John Aspinall told the court that it was a complete coincidence that he was at the petrol garage at the same time as Timothy Carter.

For no apparent reason Fuller started hammering on the window of the car, he said, and Timothy flung out his arms and struck Fuller's girlfriend in the eye which provoked the assault.

He added that neither this attack nor the incident involving the Americans had been premeditated.

Michael Judkins, mitigating for Benton and Davis over the garage incident, told the court they became angry when their cars - "their pride and joy" - were damaged on the petrol station forecourt when the other driver mistakenly thought he was blocked in and wrongly sensed something was going to happen.

Mitigating for Farrow over the incident involving the Americans, Adam Hazlehurst told the court that Farrow suffers from Aspergers' Syndrome - a mild form of autism - and acted initially in self-defence, but his actions went above and beyond.

"He was not the main instigator of this," he said.

Passing sentence, Chairman of the Magistrates, Alan Williams, said: "One of the aggravating features of this case is that there are two very serious offences involving physical harm to members of the public. There was a level of violence involved which is highly unacceptable."

Fuller was given a six months' prison sentence suspended for two years, a two year supervision order, 120 hours community work and ordered to take part in an aggression replacement programme. He was ordered to pay a total of £265 compensation, fined £150 with £118 costs and had five points endorsed on his licence.

Mr Williams told him: "You can consider yourself very fortunate not to be sent to prison with immediate effect from today."

Farrow, who the court accepted was "easily led", was given a 12 months' supervision order and 180 hours community work. He was ordered to pay £125 compensation and £118 costs.

Benton was given an 18 months' supervision order and ordered to pay £250 compensation and £118 costs.

Davis was ordered to pay £100 compensation and costs of £118.

All four will be electronically tagged and three-month curfews were imposed.

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