THE NEWSDESK: The public needs answers over New Year attack charge

South Wales Argus: Chris Collins after the attack Chris Collins after the attack

I THINK the images of Chris Collins, the Newport man who lost an eye thanks to an unprovoked and vicious attack, tell his story better than a thousand words.

Mr Collins, 54, and his family have been through hell since the New Year attack which shattered his life.

He has undergone operations to rebuild his cheek bone and to remove his damaged eye - facing the most difficult decision to sign the consent form for that second operation, knowing his life would be changed forever.

He is bravely determined to rebuild his life - to learn how to pursue his sport, archery, left-handed, and get back to work.

He and his family deserve credit for that determination and strength of character.

But they also deserve proper answers as to why a more serious charge was not pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service against his attacker Jay Lloyd.

The judge in the case, Thomas Crowther, called the charge of wounding “unbelievable” and asked why the Crown Prosecution Service had not thought it necessary to appoint a jury to decide whether Lloyd, 18, had intended to cause really serious harm.

Given the fact Mr Collins was walking away at the time of the attack, the severity of the punch, the fact he was outnumbered, and was left in agony in the road.

The court heard Lloyd was remorseful after the incident, but that should not influence the sort of charge to be brought against him. The matter of intent relates solely to what happened before and during the attack.

Judge Crowther added: “You accepted you had a very hard punch – it seems to be a matter of pride to you. You are a danger to the public and people who you may chance upon.

“The harm was serious. As to culpability, you were a member of a gang and the victim was outnumbered. You used your fist on a man who was walking away and unable to defend himself. There is no one to blame in this case but you.”

The judge also told the sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court: “I make no criticism of the police because I know they charge what the CPS authorise them to. But it seems to me this is a case in which not only the victim, but also the wider public, may well think my options are inadequate as a result of that vital charging decision.”

He requested a written explanation from the CPS.

He's right - having read the comments left on the story on our website, the wider public clearly has serious concerns about this case.

In this country, we are governed and policed by consensus. And the courts operate within that same consensus.

Should the punishment seem inadequate for the crime, we should question how this has come about.

And the report to the court should be made public. If there were inadequacies in the decision-making process, we need to see them.

We need to ensure that victims such as Mr Collins do not feel as he has "kicked in the guts" by the system.

This case also reinforces for me the importance of the principle of open justice in Britain.

Our courts are public - anyone can sit in them - and newspapers act as members of the public when we report on cases.

To those who question why we cover them, read the details of this case.

We are there to report proceedings, so that principle of open justice is upheld. And when justice looks like it is failing us, we are there to ask why.

SAM WARBURTON'S smile in the Millennium Stadium interview after Friday's emphatic win against the French said it all.

The question on all our lips: Did he think Alain Rolland was not going to award his try, given their somewhat interesting history?

Cue cheeky smile, and Sam's reassurances that he and Rolland had "worked well together" since THAT World Cup red card.

And later, he told reporters the difference between Friday and the miserable showing against Ireland was simple. "Mindset," he said.

It showed clearly on the pitch - in the scrum, the tackling, Jamie Roberts' steamroller running, and our defensive line - and it fed through to the fans in the stands.

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric.

And now we take on the old enemy. Train, believe, win. Repeat.

Comments (10)

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12:58pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Jonnytrouble says...

Vey true Maria Williams,i am so glad the SWA still have concerns regarding this case ....
It could have been you or I or anyone else that night facing those thugs and getting attacked but sadly it was Mr Collins..
Because of the 'light ' sentence given it makes me and maybe others reading this paper wonder how safe are we all walking the streets around Newport when dusk sets in ? ( or anytime ) thinking those thugs might laugh now knowing if they do the act of violence will have the same sentence thanks to the CPS once again ?....
Vey true Maria Williams,i am so glad the SWA still have concerns regarding this case .... It could have been you or I or anyone else that night facing those thugs and getting attacked but sadly it was Mr Collins.. Because of the 'light ' sentence given it makes me and maybe others reading this paper wonder how safe are we all walking the streets around Newport when dusk sets in ? ( or anytime ) thinking those thugs might laugh now knowing if they do the act of violence will have the same sentence thanks to the CPS once again ?.... Jonnytrouble
  • Score: 14

1:55pm Sun 23 Feb 14

KarloMarko says...

"remorseful"

What a gut turning phrase to use after you have viciously blinded someone, a complete stranger...

I'm "remorseful" when I drop a plate.
"remorseful" What a gut turning phrase to use after you have viciously blinded someone, a complete stranger... I'm "remorseful" when I drop a plate. KarloMarko
  • Score: 16

2:00pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Captain Tripps says...

Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .
Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds . Captain Tripps
  • Score: -41

2:33pm Sun 23 Feb 14

b3talover says...

Captain Tripps wrote:
Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .
What the hell are you talking about!!!! Show some respect!!!! The article is about the poor gentleman that was attacked. It's not about YOU and your political inclinations!!!! Politics has nothing to do with this!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Captain Tripps[/bold] wrote: Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .[/p][/quote]What the hell are you talking about!!!! Show some respect!!!! The article is about the poor gentleman that was attacked. It's not about YOU and your political inclinations!!!! Politics has nothing to do with this!!!! b3talover
  • Score: 35

5:01pm Sun 23 Feb 14

helper7 says...

Captain Tripps wrote:
Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .
I agree the sentence was lenient and its does not give me any confidence in the law.
I’m left wing and proud of it sunshine.
I DONT excuse bad behavior any more than you radical right wingers want to hang everyone.
And I don’t judge people simply by their class,name or colour like you Kippers/BNP
And you wont be ripping me to shreds you mate.
[quote][p][bold]Captain Tripps[/bold] wrote: Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .[/p][/quote]I agree the sentence was lenient and its does not give me any confidence in the law. I’m left wing and proud of it sunshine. I DONT excuse bad behavior any more than you radical right wingers want to hang everyone. And I don’t judge people simply by their class,name or colour like you Kippers/BNP And you wont be ripping me to shreds you mate. helper7
  • Score: 35

8:22pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tosh Lines says...

helper7 wrote:
Captain Tripps wrote:
Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .
I agree the sentence was lenient and its does not give me any confidence in the law.
I’m left wing and proud of it sunshine.
I DONT excuse bad behavior any more than you radical right wingers want to hang everyone.
And I don’t judge people simply by their class,name or colour like you Kippers/BNP
And you wont be ripping me to shreds you mate.
This.
My natural political inclination is left. That doesn't mean I don't condemn the scum that committed this horrific attack, or lack sympathy for the poor soul on the end of it. They got off far too lightly. What it does mean , however, is that I'm not stupid enough to don my jackboots and go on a right wing crusade to score petty points. Bring it on Captain - your kneejerk nonsense is utterly embarrassing. And if you want some real home truths, read up on how we've ALWAYS fought against the Far Right in this country. We always will too...
[quote][p][bold]helper7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Captain Tripps[/bold] wrote: Any Left Wing do - gooders still want to come on here and defend this scum who carried out this vile attack ? If so I'd happily rip you to shreds .[/p][/quote]I agree the sentence was lenient and its does not give me any confidence in the law. I’m left wing and proud of it sunshine. I DONT excuse bad behavior any more than you radical right wingers want to hang everyone. And I don’t judge people simply by their class,name or colour like you Kippers/BNP And you wont be ripping me to shreds you mate.[/p][/quote]This. My natural political inclination is left. That doesn't mean I don't condemn the scum that committed this horrific attack, or lack sympathy for the poor soul on the end of it. They got off far too lightly. What it does mean , however, is that I'm not stupid enough to don my jackboots and go on a right wing crusade to score petty points. Bring it on Captain - your kneejerk nonsense is utterly embarrassing. And if you want some real home truths, read up on how we've ALWAYS fought against the Far Right in this country. We always will too... Tosh Lines
  • Score: 17

8:26pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Tosh Lines says...

PS - only an idiot would see something wrong with doing good. Do-gooders eh? We shouldn't encourage that sort of behaviour. Let's do bad instead. Moron.
PS - only an idiot would see something wrong with doing good. Do-gooders eh? We shouldn't encourage that sort of behaviour. Let's do bad instead. Moron. Tosh Lines
  • Score: 13

9:08pm Sun 23 Feb 14

KarloMarko says...

Theres a deepening callousness in this society at all levels that to have any respect or even basic awareness of other people, let alone empathy, is somehow a weakness in free for all where it is indeed, all against all.

And where did ethos that come from? The Right. "No such thing as society". What you sow, you will reap.
Theres a deepening callousness in this society at all levels that to have any respect or even basic awareness of other people, let alone empathy, is somehow a weakness in free for all where it is indeed, all against all. And where did ethos that come from? The Right. "No such thing as society". What you sow, you will reap. KarloMarko
  • Score: 3

10:47am Mon 24 Feb 14

Cymru Am Beth says...

Jonnytrouble wrote:
Vey true Maria Williams,i am so glad the SWA still have concerns regarding this case ....
It could have been you or I or anyone else that night facing those thugs and getting attacked but sadly it was Mr Collins..
Because of the 'light ' sentence given it makes me and maybe others reading this paper wonder how safe are we all walking the streets around Newport when dusk sets in ? ( or anytime ) thinking those thugs might laugh now knowing if they do the act of violence will have the same sentence thanks to the CPS once again ?....
I don't think that we are safe anymore, walking the streets.
There is no police presence if something like this happens and they are very slow to respond when it does.
It makes me sad to say this, but I would think twice about going out in Newport after dark.
It is best to stay indoors or go somewhere less threatening.
In effect, it is almost like a self induced curfew in an attempt to avoid scumbags like this, as it seems to all intents and purposes we have lost control of our streets to these below pond life excuses for humanity.
[quote][p][bold]Jonnytrouble[/bold] wrote: Vey true Maria Williams,i am so glad the SWA still have concerns regarding this case .... It could have been you or I or anyone else that night facing those thugs and getting attacked but sadly it was Mr Collins.. Because of the 'light ' sentence given it makes me and maybe others reading this paper wonder how safe are we all walking the streets around Newport when dusk sets in ? ( or anytime ) thinking those thugs might laugh now knowing if they do the act of violence will have the same sentence thanks to the CPS once again ?....[/p][/quote]I don't think that we are safe anymore, walking the streets. There is no police presence if something like this happens and they are very slow to respond when it does. It makes me sad to say this, but I would think twice about going out in Newport after dark. It is best to stay indoors or go somewhere less threatening. In effect, it is almost like a self induced curfew in an attempt to avoid scumbags like this, as it seems to all intents and purposes we have lost control of our streets to these below pond life excuses for humanity. Cymru Am Beth
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Woodgnome says...

Yet another Newport incident that puts Newport in a very bad light and sends out the wrong message. The message to Mr Collins is that he can't get justice here. The message to the people of Newport is that the prosecuting system isn't fit for purpose and thugs can get away with heinous crimes. The message to the nation is that Newport is a violent place where yobbo thugs have the upper hand.
Yet another Newport incident that puts Newport in a very bad light and sends out the wrong message. The message to Mr Collins is that he can't get justice here. The message to the people of Newport is that the prosecuting system isn't fit for purpose and thugs can get away with heinous crimes. The message to the nation is that Newport is a violent place where yobbo thugs have the upper hand. Woodgnome
  • Score: -1

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