Jailed for Taunton attack

A man has been jailed for violently assaulting a couple in Taunton. Liam Davies appeared before Taunton Crown Court today, (Monday, 14 February) for sentencing. Davies, who is 25 and of Hawthorn Road, Taunton, was handed a sentence of seven years and two months. He will serve a minimum of five years and two months in prison, with the remainder on licence.

Davies approached Gary and Samantha Sipthorpe and asked them for a lighter. They were walking home from a pub on the evening of 23 July last year. When they said they didn’t have one, Davies punched Gary in the head multiple times, knocking him to the ground. He then continued his attack as his victim lay defenceless on the floor. He then directed his aggression towards Samantha, pushing her over when she tried to intervene. When Gary tried to phone the police Davies threw his phone across the road and continued to assault him. He eventually fled when Samantha, 53, managed to call 999.

As a result of the assault, Gary sustained a bleed to the brain, a detached retina and fractures to his rib and nose. He continues to receive treatment for his injuries seven months on. He still experiences headaches and issues with his vision.

Initially the Police could find no witnesses to the assault. A breakthrough in the investigation came after a public appeal was made for information. After seeing the appeal, a member of the public contacted them about a conversation he’d had with Davies. They had discussed the injuries to his hands and neck the morning after the incident.

Davies was arrested but denied any involvement and so was released on bail pending further enquiries. A forensic examination of the Gary’s phone found traces of Davies’ DNA on it. He was re-arrested and subsequently charged. He later pleaded guilty to both GBH and battery at an earlier hearing.

Detective Constable Joe Lewis said after the sentencing: “Liam Davies is an incredibly dangerous man and and Taunton is a much safer place with him off the streets. He was responsible for what was a truly senseless and barbaric attack, using disturbing levels of violence which are extremely rare not just in Taunton but across the whole of the Avon and Somerset area. Without the member of the public’s help we may never have identified him and we’re extremely grateful for the evidence he provided and the support he gave in bringing Davies to justice.

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