Canterbury teenagers guilty of violent disorder spared jail after assault on German student | #students | #parents


Six teenagers have been spared prison after admitting their involvement in violent scenes which led to a 17-year-old being left with life-changing brain damage.

Daniel Ezzedine was attacked in Canterbury city centre after a mass brawl broke out with local youngsters during a post-exam trip.

Daniel Ezzedine Pic: Bassam Ezzedine / Facebook

The brutal assault left the German student “100% disabled” and needing round-the-clock care from his family.

Two teenage thugs have already been sentenced for their part in the attack – which saw Daniel spend more than a year in hospital after being beaten with a bag of bricks and kicked full force in the head.

Jack Barron, who swung the bag at his defenceless victim, was convicted of GBH with intent.

Luke Fogarolli, 18, was found guilty of the same charge after a jury heard he aimed a running kick at Daniel’s head.

Yesterday, six further teens were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court over the part they played in that fateful day.

Charlie Golding at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Charlie Golding at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Canterbury youths Belcher Barron, 19; 18-year-old Michael Murray; 18-year-old Nancie Lee; and 17-year-old Charlie Golding each pleaded guilty to violent disorder, as did a Birchington 17-year-old and a Canterbury 16-year-old who cannot legally be named due to their age.

Charlie Golding is below the age of 18, but can be named for the first time today following a successful application by KentOnline’s sister paper, the Kentish Gazette, for his anonymity to be waived.

Judge Simon James told the six teens how they had all played their part in the “racially motivated” and “premeditated gang attack”.

The tragedy unfolded after Daniel’s group, who were enjoying a trip to England after their exams, unwittingly wandered into the Canterbury gang’s cross-hairs during a trip to KFC on June 4, 2019.

Taking umbrage with the foreigners, the gang began jeering at the Germans.

Belcher Barron at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Belcher Barron at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The stage had been set for an “evil” series of events that would leave Daniel fighting for his life in hospital.

Two days later, both parties clashed in Canterbury city centre outside McDonald’s, where Daniel squared off with the gang.

CCTV footage played before the court on Friday showed the events as they unfolded.

It showed a number of the Canterbury teens congregating outside McDonald’s, where they argued with Daniel’s group.

Nancie Lee was seen adopting a “boxing stance” while speaking to Daniel.

Two of the gang members peeled off into Poundland’s tool aisle on a thieving expedition.

“He left not with the life-enhancing experiences he had hoped for, but with life-limiting brain injury from which he is unlikely ever to recover…”

There, Golding stole a Stanley knife before returning to the confrontation outside, where he made a “slashing motion”.

Jack Barron and Luke Fogarolli then headed to Iron Bar Lane, along with the youngest defendant, who was just 14 at the time, who returned to the group making “hand motions”. It is believed this was the point at which a bag was filled with bricks.

As Daniel’s entourage retreated, Jack Barron sent a Snapchat message to his hundreds of followers reading: “Beef in ct (Canterbury) whose backing it then asap.”

His younger brother, Belcher Barron, then 17, responded to this request for back-up by heading to the city centre.

The altercation came to a head when the two groups clashed inside Tesco in Whitefriars, before moving outside into Rose Lane, where a large brawl broke out in the crowded shopping area.

Nancie Lee leaving Canterbury Crown Court yesterday
Nancie Lee leaving Canterbury Crown Court yesterday

Judge James described the six teens as “revelling” in the fracas.

Belcher Barron was seen fighting with Daniel before the German teen fell to the floor after trying to kick Barron.

When Daniel tried getting to his feet, Jack Barron swung his bag with such force into his right cheekbone it forced his head to hit his left shoulder.

A security guard described the haunting “horrific crunching sound” of the strike.

As Daniel laid down helplessly, Fogarolli took a running kick at his head before the group fled into Beer Cart Lane.

Lee could be seen clapping in an apparent bid to encourage others to join the melee, before herself tussling with a security guard who tried to diffuse the situation.

Michael Murray at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Michael Murray at Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The group then ran from the scene.

CCTV showed them swaggering away down Water Lane in apparent excitement, with one defendant making a kicking motion.

Golding was seen throwing an item into the River Stour, from which a knife was later recovered.

Judge James described the teens’ actions as “immature and stupid”.

“International visitors have been welcome to Canterbury for hundreds of years,” he said.

Judge Simon James
Judge Simon James

“[Daniel] came to England to experience a different culture, and to Canterbury in particular to experience our city’s rich history.

“He left not with the life-enhancing experiences he had hoped for, but with life-limiting brain injury from which he is unlikely ever to recover.

“You were all part of a group…who apparently took umbrage to the presence of foreign visitors in what you saw as your town.

“Your group sought confrontation and tried to provoke a physical fight, which some of you prepared for by arming yourselves.

“I reject any suggestion that you were provoked.

“You were all involved in persistent and sustained unlawful violence.”

The judge told how racial motivation was an aggravating factor in the attack, but added that he must take into account the defendants’ young ages at the time, their eventual guilty pleas, and the fact they have each spent time under stringent bail conditions.

Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury
Daniel Ezzedine was the victim of the gang attack in Canterbury

The six teens were sentenced on Monday, more than two years to the day since the attack.

Belcher Barron, now aged 19, was handed an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and 60 days of rehabilitation.

Michael Murray, 18, was given 15 months in a YOI, suspended for two years, along with 200 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehab days – a sentence Judge James described as “a last and final chance to mend and change your ways”.

Nancie Lee, 18, was sentenced to a two-year community order with supervision, along with 30 rehab days and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Charlie Golding, 17, who was also convicted of theft and possession of a bladed article, was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order (YRO) with intensive supervision and surveillance.

He was also sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work, while he will be tagged and subject to a 9pm to 6am curfew until his 18th birthday on August 30. He will also be banned from within the city walls until that date.

Another 17-year-old from Birchington was given a two-year YRO with an enhanced level of intervention.

Emergency services at the scene on June 6, 2019
Emergency services at the scene on June 6, 2019

The 16-year-old defendant from Canterbury was sentenced to a two-year YRO with a standard level of supervision.

Three teens were sentenced in January over their involvement in the events of June 6, 2019.

Jack Barron, who swung a bag of bricks at defenceless Daniel, was convicted of GBH with intent. He was just 15 at the time of the attack, and was in January sentenced to six years in a young offenders’ institute (YOI).

Luke Fogarolli, 18, was found guilty of the same charge after a jury heard he aimed a running kick at Daniel’s head. In January, he was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in a YOI, plus an extra year for separate drug-dealing and weapon offences.

George Potter, aged 19, of Eaton Place in Margate admitted violent disorder, and was in January sentenced to 18 months in YOI, suspended for two years, plus 150 hours unpaid work.

A 10th and final defendant, 19-year-old Leon Thurston, from Canterbury, is expected to appear in court later this summer, having also been charged in connection with the events of that day.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury



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