Rugby man sent to prison after stamping on victim’s head in street

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A Rugby man who twice stamped on his victim’s head after raining punches on him should not even have been out – because he was subject to an electronically-tagged curfew.

And at Warwick Crown Court Stuart Cunningham, 27, of Montgomery Drive, was jailed for a total of 80 weeks.

He had pleaded guilty to charges of assault and affray which he committed at a time when he was subject to a suspended prison sentence for handling stolen goods.

Prosecutor Neil Bannister said that in February three men spent an evening at a house in Cawston. They left at 3.30am, walking slowly because one of them was on crutches

As they neared his home a taxi pulled up across the road, with a man and a woman next to it. Cunningham shouted out: “Why are you staring at me?”

The three friends were bemused because they had not been doing so. Cunningham kept repeating his question and was told the men had not been staring.

In response he jogged over and grabbed one of the men, dragging him to the ground where he rained punches down on his body and twice stamped on the side of his head, causing him to lose consciousness.

When police went to Cunningham’s home he jumped out of a window and ran off, but was traced with the help of a police dog and the force helicopter and arrested. He claimed the friends had been shouting abuse at him.

At the time Cunningham, who has previous convictions for violence, was subject to a 40-week suspended prison sentence with an electronically-tagged curfew which had been imposed just five weeks earlier for handling stolen goods.

Richard Holloway, defending, said Cunningham’s partner had been injured while she was out with friends and had come home with a broken collarbone.

So he had called a taxi to take her to hospital, which was why he was outside in breach of his curfew. He believed the three friends were laughing at them – so decided ‘to get his retaliation in first.’

Cunningham was jailed for 40 weeks for the offences – consecutive to the 40-week suspended sentence which Recorder William Mousley QC also ordered him to serve.

Recorder Mousley told him: “I am quite satisfied this was an unprovoked and needless attack.

“At a time when you say you were concerned about your girlfriend and about to escort her to hospital, you still thought it appropriate to go across to these young men and use gratuitous violence.”