THUGS who left their victim needing 28 stitches after a brutal attack with a glass bottle have been jailed for a total of six years.

Darryl Rolfe and Rhys Welham set upon victim Nathan French at the skate park in Cowdray Avenue, Colchester.

During the attack Mr French was slashed in the face with a broken rum bottle, missing his eye by 1cm. The attackers fled but were arrested following an appeal.

They admitted unlawful and malicious wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Chelmsford Crown Court in June.

Richard Potts, prosecuting at the same court yesterday, told the court Mr French was at the skate park with his friend on October 11 when two men approached.

One of the men shoved Mr French whilst the other picked up the bottle of rum from the floor.

Mr Potts said: “The second man, which the crown say is Welham, picked up the rum bottle, which was taken off him by the first male, said to be Rolfe. Male one smashed the bottle on the grinding ledge of the skatepark.”

The court heard Mr French tried to back away but was pursued by the attackers when Rolfe was heard shouting “Do you want to die tonight?”.

“The victim said no he didn’t and was fearful for not only his life but for his children,” Mr Potts said.

Eventually, Rolfe swung the bottle at the victim’s face, causing a cut roughly two inches long. He received 28 stitches for the wound at Broomfield Hospital.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Mr French needed 28 stitches after the attack

Mr Potts said the attack had left Mr French “terrified” to return to the skatepark.

The incident was captured on camera by the victim’s friend and Rolfe, 29, of Viscount Drive, Colchester, and Welham, 26, of Hazelton Road, Colchester, were identified after an appeal.

Stephen Levy, mitigating on behalf of Rolfe, said his defendant had accepted responsibility for his actions and asked for credit for his guilty plea.

Sasha Bailey, for Welham, said her client played a lesser role in the attack.

Judge Patricia Lynch jailed each for three years.

She said: “The injury was caused with a deliberately broken bottle and we have seen the extent of the injury in photos. I think this is a case which merits a custodial sentence.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Darryl Rolfe and Rhys Welham were jailed for three years each

A charge of affray will lie on file for both defendants.