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19-year-old handed four years’ detention after brutal attack leaves taxi driver with fractured skull

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

Image credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to over four years’ detention for a violent attack which left a taxi driver in Ipswich with a fractured skull last year.

Jack Powell appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday 27 January, where he was sentenced to 50 months’ detention in a young offender institution.

He had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing on Monday 6 December, to the offences of robbery and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday 7 November, when police were called by a member of the public at 3.45am reporting that a man had been attacked in Tower Mill Road.

Powell was seen to drag a man out of the driver’s side of the car and when a member of the public went outside to investigate, Powell threw a mobile phone at him and made off in the direction of Bramford Road.

Officers arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes and found the victim face down in the road and bleeding - having suffered significant head and facial injuries - and so an ambulance was immediately requested.

Meanwhile, other officers who had responded to the incident began searching the area for a suspect and after driving up and down a number of nearby streets, they located and arrested Jack Powell at just after 4am in Wallace Road.

Powell made immediate admissions of guilt to the arresting officer and was found with cash on him that he had stolen from the victim, who had driven him in his taxi from Colchester to Ipswich.

The 40-year-old victim sustained a fractured skull and other facial fractures, along with swelling to the brain. He spent almost a month in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he was unconscious for a week and had to undergo multiple surgeries.

Detective Constable Damian Richer, of South CID, said: “This was a truly shocking display of violence and but for the intervention of a member of the public, the outcome could have been even worse than it already was.

“The quick response of the officers who were first on scene - in both ensuring the victim got urgent medical assistance and in locating the suspect and securing evidence - was crucial, as was the use of the arresting officer’s Body Worn Video in capturing the initial admissions made by Powell.

“Following this there were the forensic seizures, photos of scenes and work with the victim, who spent a number of weeks at Addenbrooke’s. The hard work of the attending officers and then the CID officers who took the case forward, all contributed to a guilty plea being secured at an early stage.

“Having seen the injury photos from the evening and then meeting the victim in hospital three weeks later, I was amazed at the progress he had made, which was a testament to both his sheer determination to pull through for his wife and children and as a result of the excellent medical care he received.

“The victim has spoken of the far-reaching consequences of this attack - the impact on his family and of the fact he is unlikely to ever return to his old job. His injuries were so severe, that when he finally returned home after a month in hospital his children did not recognise him. Unsurprisingly he has been left traumatised by the attack and suffers with flashbacks.

“In the space of a few minutes on that Sunday morning a young man devastated the life of the victim and the victim’s family, along with his own life, in what was an alcohol-fuelled, unprovoked, cowardly and senseless act of aggression.

“At least Jack Powell pleaded guilty and spared the victim and his family the further trauma of a trial. I hope he uses the time that he is locked away to reflect on the impact of what he did, how a man out doing his job was beaten unconscious for no reason, and how life-changing taking that final fare of the night was for him and his family.”


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