Hastings town centre bottle attack: Man jailed after 'unprovoked assault'

A man who used a bottle in an 'unprovoked assault' in Hastings town centre will spend a year and a half behind bars.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 9:43 am
Updated Sunday, 5th September 2021, 9:50 am

Sammy Stockford, 34, a labourer, of Canada Grove, Bognor Regis, denied wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent but was found guilty after a trial in May.

"On Wednesday (August 25), he was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for the unprovoked assault," a spokesperson for Sussex Police said.

Stockford had been visiting a friend in Hastings on September 28, 2020 when the pair decided to go out drinking in the town centre, police said.

Sammy Stockford, 34, denied wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent but was found guilty after a trial in May. Photo: Sussex Police

The victim was also in town with a woman who knew Stockford's friend, and the group ended up talking with each other.

Police said that, later in the evening, the victim overheard a conversation involving Stockford and challenged him as he 'found the content offensive'.

After a brief verbal altercation, the victim left the bar and walked down Middle Street.

"However, Stockford followed him and without warning, hit him in the face with a bottle," police added.

"The victim suffered a deep cut above his eyebrow, requiring hospital treatment."

Police officers were called and arrested Stockford after he was identified by the victim's friend. He was found with blood on his t-shirt, which he had turned inside out in a 'suspected attempt to hide the stains'.

Officers recovered a broken glass bottle on Middle Street which matched the brand of alcohol Stockford had been drinking that evening.

Police said Stockford claimed in an interview that he had punched the victim in self-defence and denied a bottle had been used.

Nevertheless, he was convicted on May 21 by a majority jury of 10 to two. As well as an 18-month sentence, he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156, police said.