Teenager jailed for Ilfracombe holidaymaker pier attack

Image caption The victim was on a camping holiday in the north Devon resort when he was attacked

A man who threw a holidaymaker off a pier at Ilfracombe, Devon, has been given four years in a young offenders' institution.

Exeter Crown Court was told 19-year-old Kyle Saville launched a premeditated attack on 49-year-old Richard Taylor.

The victim, who was carrying a rucksack when he was attacked, suffered life-threatening injuries after landing on concrete 15ft (4.5m) below the pier.

Saville, of Albert Lane, Barnstaple, admitted wounding with intent.

The court heard Saville repeatedly punched Mr Taylor who raised his hands to try to protect himself from the violent onslaught.

Rucksack protection

Prosecutor David Gittins said Mr Taylor suffered broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a collapsed lung and a potentially life-threatening chest wound.

He said Saville, who had taken drugs and was drunk, had walked off from the pier with a group of youths and was later heard boasting he had "thrown someone off the harbour wall".

The court was told Mr Taylor and a friend had travelled to the north Devon resort on a camping trip last summer when the attack happened.

The victim told Devon and Cornwall Police that he "felt himself rising off the ground, lifted into the air" describing it as a "very strange feeling like a fair ground ride".

Defence lawyer Richard Crabb said Saville accepted he punched and pushed Mr Taylor who was top heavy with the rucksack he was wearing, and took full responsibility for him going over the railings.

Sentencing Saville, Judge Brian Cotter QC said the victim could have suffered fatal injuries and may have been saved from catastrophic injuries due to his rucksack.

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