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Pole attacker sentence too soft’ says officer

PUBLISHED: 10:04 23 August 2007 | UPDATED: 11:25 01 July 2010

POLICE have slammed lenient sentencing for an attacker who put a teenager on a life support machine when he stole his mobile phone. The 18-year-old victim, from West Norwood was hit around the head with an iron pole by student Joseph Isodo in Betts Wood

POLICE have slammed lenient sentencing for an attacker who put a teenager on a life support machine when he stole his mobile phone.

The 18-year-old victim, from West Norwood was hit around the head with an iron pole by student Joseph Isodo in Betts Wood Park in September last year.

The 22-year-old student at Croydon college was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court last Friday.

However Bromley's robbery police chief DI Garry Stokes, said: "I am disappointed at the leniency of this sentence.

"This was a vicious and totally unprovoked attack on a young man that will affect him for the rest of his life - and for what, a mobile phone? This is totally unacceptable and the level of violence in this attack merited a much more severe sentence in my opinion."

When police arrived at the scene on September 11 last year, they found the victim with his 17-year-old girl friend in a distressed state.

Isodo and one other man had approached them and asked the boy to call a mutual acquaintance, but when he did so he was struck around the head with a thin metal pole and the phone stolen.

Police described the victim as being in a "confused and agitated state" and became more agitated when paramedics tried to look at a small cut on the back of his head.

He was subdued and taken in an ambulance to the Mayday Hospital in Croydon. But when he arrived at the hospital he had a fit.

It was discovered that he had bleeding on the brain and his condition was life-threatening. He was rushed to St Thomas Hospital where he remained unconscious in a critical condition on a ventilator.

He was then transferred to neurological unit at St George's Hospital, Tooting, and regained consciousness on September 22.

The weapon used in the assault - a white thin metal pole, similar to a scaffold pole - was recovered from the scene. Police recovered CCTV showing the suspects boarding a train at Sydenham and disembarking at Anerley two hours prior to the assault and tracking them through the area. They were later seen departing the area and catching a train from Anerley and getting off at Norwood Junction He was arrested after police traced the stolen phone to his home in Bovil Road, Brockley, even though the sim card had been replaced.

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