Sussex

Ashley Dacosta jailed for Mo Bourner attack in Bexhill

Ashley Dacosta and Jack Carrick
Image caption Ashley Dacosta (left) and Jack Carrick were sentenced at Hove Crown Court

A soldier has been sentenced to six years in jail after randomly attacking a 15-year-old boy in East Sussex.

Ashley Dacosta, 20, punched Mo Bourner as the teenager walked home from a beach party in Bexhill on 28 October 2011, leaving him with brain damage.

Dacosta, of Silvester Road, Bexhill, admitted racially-motivated grievous bodily harm at Hove Crown Court.

Last week he was also found to have perverted the course of justice along with a second man, James Carrick, 25.

Carrick, of Manor Road, Bexhill, was also found guilty of witness intimidation and given a two-year prison sentence.

Mo, who is now 16, suffered 90% brain damage. The judge said he will never lead a normal life or learn to walk again.

'Sentence of pain'

The court was told Dacosta had attended the same beach party at Glyne Gap, where he was drunk and seen acting aggressively.

Image caption Mo Bourner had been attending a beach party at Glyne Gap when he was attacked

He punched Mo once, knocking him on to a car and then the pavement.

In a statement read outside the court by Sussex Police, his parents Peter and Rhama Bourner, said: "Ashley Dacosta handed our son Mo a sentence of pain, frustration and anger for the rest of his life.

"Any sentence seems lenient but the hope is it will keep Ashley Dacosta from committing such a despicable crime again.

"We are relieved that such a dangerous individual is no longer on our streets."

'Single punch'

Det Ch Insp Nick Sloan, from Sussex Police, who led the investigation, said: "The single punch to Mo Bourner has had devastating consequences.

"Mo has made significant progress but he now lives with serious life changing injuries."

Mr Sloan praised the bravery of witnesses who came to the police with information about the assault.

"We gave our utmost assurance that the information they gave - in a variety of ways - would be in the strictest confidence," he said.

"One name was given to us repeatedly - that of Ashley Dacosta - and I was heartened that people courageously come forward with the evidence we needed."

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