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Punched man in head more than a dozen times

Punched man in head more than a dozen times

Friday 21 February 2020

Punched man in head more than a dozen times

A 29-year-old man punched another to the ground and stamped on him in what was branded a "vicious and prolonged attack".

Alex Steers, 29, appeared before Guernsey's Magistrates' Court for punching a man in Market Square to the head "at least 12 to 13 times" before stamping on him.

He was sentenced to four months in prison. 

His partner, Laura Upeniece, 34, appeared alongside him for a single hit while the victim was still on the ground and received a two year conditional discharge order. 

Steers and Upeniece came across a group of people they knew at the picnic benches in Market Square while walking home in the early evening of 3 November 2019. 

Upeniece went over to one of the men, who would become the victim, and hugged him, before arguing with another member of the group. After several minutes of conversation, CCTV footage played in court showed Steers suddenly climb onto one of the benches and  punch the victim in the face.

After he fell to the ground, Steers stood over him, punching him another dozen times to the head. 

He then stamped on him - Defence Advocate Liam Roffey said this was to the body; Judge McKerrell said it appeared to be to the head - before being ushered away by another member of the group.


Pictured: The victim was standing by these benches when he was assaulted. 

After a few minutes, during which no one approached the victim while he lay on the ground, Upeniece walked over to him and appeared to hit him. Her lawyer said she was slapping the phone out of his hand rather than striking the man, but the court noted that the CCTV was again inconclusive.

Police then arrived and the victim was taken to hospital, where he was treated for a fractured jaw. 

In a recorded interview following the incident, Steers said “I am not just going to stand there when someone touches my missus”, with Defence Advocate Roffey later saying that there was history between the two parties, who were well known to each other. 

After the incident, Upeniece summarised their actions by saying: “We have been terrible and aggressive to someone nasty.”

Advocate Roffey, whose client moved to the island two years ago, said anyone who saw the CCTV footage would be “rightly shocked by its content”.

However, it was a chance meeting and Steers' actions were not pre-meditated.

Events in their family life had been extremely stressful and their extra commitments and responsibilities meant Upeniece had to give up work, with Steers working up to 100 hours a week in a restaurant to compensate.


Pictured: Steers and Upeniece appeared before the Magistrates Court. 

While that did not excuse his actions, Advocate Roffey said those circumstances were part of the matrix of events which led to incident, which was Steers' first time before the courts for an offence of this nature. 

Judge Mckerrell noted Advocate Roffey’s “powerful mitigation”, and the complex personal circumstances, but said the assault itself was "at the very top end of seriousness".

"It was vicious, it was prolonged, it was sustained and of course it was violent," he said. 

The prolonged nature of the attack meant a custodial sentence was unavoidable. 

"Whatever the victim’s behaviour may have been previously or on that night, nothing can justify your actions as seen on the CCTV."

Upeniece was spared a prison sentence, instead receiving a conditional discharge for two years. 

While Judge McKerrell said Steers' role in the assault was far more serious than hers', Upeniece's actions still had to be reprimanded. 

"The aggravating factor on your part was that the victim was on the ground, no doubt dazed and confused, no doubt in considerable pain."

Pictured top: The benches at Market Square and the Royal Court building. 

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Posted by Robert Williams on
Hopefully, he will be barred from the island upon his release. We do not need people like this in Guernsey.
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