May 25 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A “paranoid” father-of-one was jailed on Friday after an attack in a South Woodford restaurant which shocked horrified onlookers.
Samir Patel, 30, of Cowley Road, Ilford, left Randeep Degum severely disfigured with an “unsymmetrical face” after head-butting him in Red Mantra in George Lane in February 2011.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Patel, who was jailed for 18 months, also punched Mr Degum four times at the Indian fusion tapas bar, leaving him with a fractured nose and cheekbone.
Mr Degum was forced to undergo extensive surgery, is now extremely self-conscious about his appearance and suffers a constant throbbing behind his right eye, the court was told.
Sentencing, Judge Tudor Owen told Patel: “This was an unprovoked assault which caused serious injury and the effect on the victim is ongoing.”
The pair were “old grudges” from school, according to Peter Marshall, defending, who added that Patel was “deeply sorry” for his actions.
There was a confrontation between the pair near a toilet area, with the defendant asking Mr Degum if he wanted to talk to him.
The court was told that Mr Degum tried to calm Patel by touching his arm but was then head-butted.
Drinkers screamed before Mr Degum was taken to hospital, the court heard.
Patel, who was jailed in 2008 for drug-dealing, suffers from depression and paranoia, according to Mr Marshall.
Mr Marshall said: “A considerable amount of his difficulties may be self-induced as a result of his consumption of cannabis.
“There has been some bad feeling and he was paranoid, but it was unjust animosity directed at the individual.”
Patel, who denied a single count of causing grievous bodily, was found unanimously guilty by a jury in March. He was ordered to pay Mr Degum £2,000 in compensation.
Police swooped on the homeless, grabbing sleeping bags and food parcels donated by the public, in co-ordinated raids around the borough.