January 23, 2014

Moment drunken thug kicked stranger's head 'as if it was a football' (VIDEO) - @WiganCouncil

This is the moment Vitalijis Zavjalovs is captured on CCTV kicking Brian Gallagher in the head as he bent down to tie his shoelaces
This is the sickening moment a violent thug kicked another man in the head 'as if it was a football' as he bent down to tie his shoelaces.

Vitalijis Zavjalovs, 22, was captured on CCTV cameras laughing with a friend as he left his victim lying on the ground unconscious following the attack in the early hours of December 8 last year.

The footage, which emerged during a court hearing to sentence Zavjalovs, made the presiding magistrate at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court 'wince' as Brian Gallagher was kicked in the head, causing cuts to his face and lips.

The footage, taken from town centre cameras in Wigan, Lanashire, shows Zavjalovs running towards Mr Gallagher as he leaves a club, before kicking him hard in the face and knocking him out.

The presiding magistrate told Zavjalovs: 'This was a particularly nasty incident. It made me wince watching it just now.

'It was a vicious attack. We are sick and tired of seeing incidents like this in Wigan town centre.

'You kicked his head as if it was a football, he had no way of defending himself and he did not know it was even coming.

'You used a weapon - your foot - we believe it deserves a custodial sentence but you have been shown leniency because you have shown remorse and it was an isolated incident and you have previous good character.'

Karen Schofield, defending, said: 'His recollection of the incident is somewhat vague. He had consumed an extremely large quantity of alcohol.

'He does not go out regularly at weekends, he cannot put forward any legitimate reason why he drank this much on this occasion.'

The court was told Zavjalovs had been drinking steadily from 8pm until when the incident occurred at just before 4am.

Ms Schofield added: 'When shown the footage, he could not recall any arguments and he could not recognise the victim.

'He is a man who is not a violent individual. He regrets what happened and is remorseful that he caused injury to a male that simply he does not know.'

Zavjalovs, from Wigan, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating. He received a four month custodial sentence suspended for 12 months with a specified activity requirement.

He will also have to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work, pay £600 compensation to the victim, a £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs, adding up to a total of £765.

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