Kane Price, 15, and Ashley Farrow, 18, detained for homeless man attack
- 2 December 2013
- From the section Wales
Two teenagers who carried out a savage and premeditated attack on a sleeping homeless man have received custodial sentences.
Kane Price, 15, and Ashley Farrow, 18, both from Newport, left Vladimir Kazlausks for dead after the 54-year-old was repeatedly hit over the head.
Both were found guilty of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent at Cardiff Crown Court.
Price will serve seven years and Farrow six at a young offenders' institution.
The court heard how Mr Kazlausks, originally from Latvia, was brutally attacked by the teenagers on 8 May 2012 in an underground service road in Newport known as "junkies' tunnel" where he had been sleeping rough.
He was beaten around the head with a wooden table leg damaging one of his eye sockets so badly that it altered the position of his eyeball. He also suffered multiple facial fractures.
Doctors at the city's Royal Gwent Hospital said his injuries were similar to those suffered by car crash victims. They put him on life support and induced a coma.
Mr Kazlausks has lost the sight in one of his eyes.
During their trial, the court heard how both Price and Farrow had tried to blame each other for the attack.
But prosecutor Michael Jones told the court how Price was spotted on CCTV after the attack re-enacting the crime to friends.
The court heard he told friends: "I feel high. I feel on top of the world. I want to do it again."
Farrow also bragged to his friends about how he and his friend had killed a man after hitting him "40 times", the jury heard.
Mr Kazlausks' blood was found on Farrow's shoe, and Price was seen with blood on his face and tracksuit top sleeve afterwards.
Both Price and Farrow had claimed the evidence got there because they had seen a friend carrying out the crime but were too "shocked" and "frightened" to intervene.
But, Mr Justice Jay said forensic evidence showed Price was the ringleader and had hit Mr Kazlausks over the head with a wooden table leg.
"I am also satisfied that that this attack was not a spur of the moment (decision)," the judge said.
"Ashley Farrow, although your involvement was lesser, everything points to this being committed to this enterprise.
'No genuine remorse'
"Kane Price... you lied to the jury on a truly epic scale."
He said both defendants had shown a lack of human empathy.
"I have struggled to work out what your motivation for the attack, it is beyond the scope of this court's investigation.
"Your only mitigation is your age. There has been no genuine remorse from either of you," he added.
A pre-sentence report said there was a "very high risk" of Price causing "serious harm to others" if his poor behaviour was not tackled.
The judge also said the injuries sustained by Mr Kazlausks could have easily proved fatal.
"I have to say that they (the injuries) were sufficient enough to cause a fatal injury and you both were aware of that," he added.
"Putting it bluntly, the victim was left for dead - you thought that he might be dead."
Both teenagers will only be eligible for parole after two-thirds of their detention had passed.
The judge also overturned an order which banned Price's identity being revealed, because it was in the public interest.
Following sentencing, Det Insp Justin O'Keefe from Gwent Police said: "These two teenagers preyed on the vulnerability of a man living in Newport and beat him severely in this horrendous attack, without any thought of consequences."