Teen thug jailed over shocking attack on Korean student

Posted On 22 Oct 2019 at 4:43 pm

Two teenage thugs who smashed a champagne bottle into a Korean student’s face in a Brighton street have been sentenced.

One of the teenagers, Louis Barrett, 19, has been jailed for 21 months by Judge Stephen Mooney at Lewes Crown Court.

The other, 18-year-old Bradley Garrett, was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

The pair set upon Yehsung Kim on Sunday 15 October 2017 and threw a bottle of wine at him, hitting him in the face.

When his friend asked why they had attacked him, the thugs replied “because you’re f***ing Asian”.

An emotional victim impact statement from Mr Kim was read out at Lewes Crown Court yesterday in which he revealed that he still has terrifying dreams about the assault, which left him needing dental work costing more than £2,000.

He said: “Everything has pros and cons. Even this incident has grown me up and taught me many things. I feel good about this and this is how I overcome it.

“I am, however, still struggling mentally and emotionally with it. I sometimes have a dream about it repeatedly and simulate in a various way. But finally, wake up with distressing feelings and bad mood.

“Actually, this is affecting my real life. I became a very moody person and emotional. I keep repeating say sorry to people around me and I do not like me like this.

“Whenever I say, ‘I studied in Brighton,’ people asked me, ‘Do you know about the racial attack? It was disgusting.’

“Do you guys (the defendants) know how I feel every time I hear this? Have you imagined parents’ feeling when your son got an accident and hear that by TV news?

“Before I left the UK, Louis Barrett saw me in Pryzm, Brighton. At the time, I considered that this is the last time I can hear sorry from him and forgive. But he did not, rather laughed at me and was busy to drink.

“Eventually, he was kicked out by the bouncers there and banned. Yes, so this is him, no change, no worries about the future.

“I do not want them to be shameful people because of their past. But to let them realise this, I want them to be punished.”

Piers Reed, prosecuting, said that Mr Kim and his friend Miss Kishimoto, a Japanese language student, had been walking in New Road shortly after 9pm on Sunday 15 October 2017 when they saw Barrett and Garrett and two women leaving Oki Nami, shouting at a member of staff and moving chairs.

Mr Kim turned to see what was happening, which drew the attention of Barrett and Garrett and one of the women. Louis Barrett then threw a bottle at him, hitting him in the neck.

Mr Kim asked him why he’d thrown it and Barrett said “because you’re f***ing Asian.” He continued to launch a volley of abuse at Mr Kim, most of which he didn’t understand other than the repeated phrase “f***ing Asian”.

The language students tried to walk away but were pursued by the group down North Street.

Mr Reed said: “Louis Barrett turned in front of Mr Kim and was pointing his finger at him.

“He pulled his ears outwards and slanted his eyes by pulling the corners of his eyes up.

“Miss Kishimoto suggested that they stop walking so the distance between the group would grow but then Bradley Garrett walked back and said do you want to hit me. Let’s fight one on one.”

Louis Barrett

At this point, Miss Kishimoto put herself between Mr Kim and the defendants and started crying, which prompted their female friend to tell them to leave them alone but Garrett continued to goad Mr Kim.

They stopped briefly when three men walked past but once they had left, the ordeal continued.

Mr Reed said: “Bradley Garrett moved towards Mr Kim, took the champagne bottle and swung it with some force into the face of Mr Kim.

“Mr Kim had done nothing. He was simply standing still when the bottle made contact with his head.

“He described everything going blank after the strike and although he had his eyes open he couldn’t see anything. He felt his body sway and as he bent over he saw four pieces of his teeth as his mouth started to bleed.”

The video above was filmed by a Romanian couple and, after Mr Kim’s friends posted it on Facebook, it quickly went viral, particularly in South Korea.

Among those who watched it was a PC Knight who recognised Garrett from when he had come across him in the early hours of the morning when responding to various violent incidents.

Barrett was identified by a member of staff at Brighton station, who knew him from a number of occasions when he had tried to provoke staff into fighting with him.

Both were arrested and shown the footage but denied the attack. Police detectives then gathered evidence from security cameras from surrounding businesses to prove that the pair carried out the attack.

When they got to court, they both pleaded guilty, Barrett for racially aggravated assault and racial harassment, and Garrett to attempted GBH (grievous bodily harm) with intent.

The court heard that despite their young age, they had been convicted of a string of offences.

Barrett had been given a suspended sentence for another drink-fuelled attack in Western Road just two weeks before the assault on Mr Kim.

Then, he and a group of about 15 youths had been fighting late at night and, when two men tried to break it up, Barrett hit one of them on the head with a bottle which then ricocheted off and broke a window in Primark.

He was also convicted of racial harassment for calling a passenger on a train a “bald monkey”.

Yesterday, he also pleaded guilty to breaching the community element of the sentence due to “very poor attempts” to undertake unpaid work.

Garrett, who turned 18 on Saturday, has seven previous convictions for 16 offences, including shoplifting, common assault, attempted robbery and having an offensive weapon.

In mitigation, Marilyn Vitte said that Barrett was “incredibly remorseful” for his actions, carried out at at a time when he was hanging out with the wrong crowd.

She said that he had not offended since and had sought regular work on building sites.

Appearing for Garrett, Sarah Taite said that her client had a troubled background and that when he was younger, he took it out on others.

She said that he is now with foster carers who are making real progress with him, adding: “He said to me I genuinely feel bad for what I have done and for that boy. I have dealt with this young man before and he’s never been able to do that before.”

  1. Rachel Lewis Reply

    Absolute scum. These sentences are no deterrent. Brighton is becoming a no go city for decent people.

  2. gilbert bligh Reply

    Appalling that the judge has allowed the one who actually smashed Mr Kim in the face with the bottle a suspended sentence. Mr Kim is now a let down victim of the British justice system. I wonder what he thinks of these disgracefully lenient sentences by Judge Mooney – I thought the law were mean’t to be making a tougher stance in racially motivated cases like this in light of the Stephen Lawrence tragedy

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