An Uxbridge teenager who booted a 79-year-old pensioner in the head – shattering his skull – during a racist attack has had his sentence slashed on appeal.
Fraser Danny Giles, 18, punched and kicked the elderly man, launching into the brutal assault in Chiltern View Road, Uxbridge, after asking the blameless grandfather in traditional Muslim dress if he was a ‘white Muslim’.
Giles, who address was given as Enfield Close, was handed eight years’ detention in a young offenders’ institution, after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent at Isleworth Crown Court in December. But three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court have now upheld a sentence challenge by Giles, reducing his custodial term by a quarter to six years after ruling his original punishment excessive.
Mr Justice Andrew Smith said Giles, then a 17-year-old hair salon trainee, had been drinking heavily before he approached the elderly victim, who was on his way to the Cowley Mill Road mosque for worship on July 5 last year.
The teenager confronted the man, who suffers from a condition affecting his skin pigmentation and asked him: “Are you a white Muslim?” Giles punched the man, knocked him to the ground and kicked him to the head as he lay prone, leaving him hospital-bound for 12 days with ‘life-threatening injuries’, the appeal judge said. He suffered a skull fracture and bruising to his brain, which affected his ability to think properly and his speech; the injuries, according to his family, left him a ‘devastated man’.
However, Mr Justice Smith said the attack was out of character for Giles, something confirmed by positive reports relating to his time in custody since. The judge said that, while the offence was committed against a vulnerable victim, and appeared to be religiously or racially motivated, it was not premeditated, and Giles had since shown genuine remorse.
Gileses’ counsel argued that his sentence was manifestly excessive, given his mitigation, particularly his young age.
Mr Justice Smith, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Sir Colin Mackay, said: “Dreadful though the offence was, and mindful as we are of the impact on the victim, we conclude that Gileses’ sentence should be reduced. We consider that, taking into account his age, early plea and his otherwise good character, a sentence of six years constitutes an appropriate sentence for this offence and we reduce the sentence accordingly.”