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Park robbery gang get 20 years behind bars
A GANG has been jailed for an attack which left a man with a fractured eye socket.
The four men and a 17-year-old were convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault and robbery after a trial at Oxford Crown Court. They denied all charges.
The court was packed with their supporters as they were sentenced to a total of almost 20 years behind bars on Friday, after attacking two men in Blackbird Leys Park, Oxford.
On the evening of March 15 last year, Aaron Merry and Jake Trotter, both 20, were walking home past Costcutters in Pegasus Road.
They were spotted by Merlando Stapleton, 21, Jamie Williams, 19, Kyle Williams, 20, Christopher Lemonius, 22, and the 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Following the pair into a nearby park, the five covered their faces with hoods and scarves, and approached Mr Merry.
Stapleton punched him in the face – fracturing his eye socket – and his friends kicked and punched him while he lay on the ground.
They also took his wallet and assaulted Mr Trotter.
None of the men had any connection with their victims, with Stapleton later claiming he mistook Mr Merry for someone else.
Mr Merry has now made a full recovery, but suffered a fractured eye socket which means he will have a metal plate in his face for the rest of his life.
Judge Ian Pringle said: “You five, for some reason, decided you would engage that pair of young men.
“You followed them along the dark streets and continued to do so until at some point your hoods went up.
“And when they got to a secluded area you approached and attacked them.
“Adam Merry was very severely injured. He received a broken eye socket which has had to have a plate put in it.
“His friend Jake Trotter was accosted by Stapleton and he too was assaulted.
“That sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable in our society today, and I have absolutely no alternative but to impose significant custodial sentences in each of your cases.
“The plain fact of the matter is you have all behaved abysmally.”
Lemonius, of St Clement’s, East Oxford, was jailed for three and a half years for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Merry.
Jamie Williams, of Chaffinch Walk, Blackbird Leys, received three years; Stapleton, of Sandy Lane, Blackbird Leys, was sentenced to five years and four months.
The 17-year-old received three and a half years in a young offenders’ institute. Kyle Williams, of Coriander Way, Blackbird Leys, received four years for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.
He was also given one year in prison for possession of heroin with intent to supply and one month for possession of cannabis, to run concurrently, but on top of his sentence for the attack.
All five were handed concurrent sentences of four months for stealing Mr Merry’s wallet and three months for assaulting Mr Trotter.