Facebook threat thug’s jail sentence cut

A THUG who threatened a 15-year-old boy on Facebook – after smashing a broken bottle into the teenager’s face because he “hated him” – has had his jail sentence cut by top judges.

Sean O’Brien, 18, was caged for six years in October last year after he admitted wounding with intent and improper use of a public electronic communications network.

But today (Friday) judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court reduced his sentence to five-and-a-half years, saying the original term was “excessive”.

The court heard O’Brien, of The Downs, Hatfield, and his 15-year-old victim, who cannot be identified because of his age, were both at the same party last June.

As the victim left the party, he heard footsteps behind him and turned to see O’Brien carrying a bottle he had deliberately broken.

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O’Brien struck the victim in the face with the bottle, before punching and kicking him – catching up with the youngster twice after he managed to get away and continuing the savage attack.

The victim was left with a cut to his face and a piece of glass, which was close to a nerve, had to be removed from his cheek.

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When arrested, O’Brien admitted everything, saying he attacked the youngster because he “hated him” – but would not say why.

A month later, he sent his victim a message on Facebook, saying: “I can’t wait until I catch you slipping again, I will kill you.”

He later said he had no intention of killing the teenager, but wanted him to believe he would “seriously hurt him”.

The court heard he had previous offences of battery and assault on his record but had never been locked up before.

Attacking O’Brien’s sentence as “excessive”, his lawyers argued the crown court judge’s decision to treat the offence as being at the “top end” of the scale of seriousness was “extraordinary”, given that it was his first custodial term.

Allowing the appeal, Sir Christopher Holland, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Spencer, said the original term was “too long” and reduced it by six months.

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