A violent offender who punched a man and left him unconscious while on licence from prison has been sent back to jail. Neil de Klerk carried out the assault after he was seen drinking and listening to loud music near Folkestone Harbour on Wednesday 27 May 2020.
The 31-year-old fled the scene but was quickly tracked down by officers and was found in possession of a knife and cocaine. De Klerk admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of a knife and possession of a class A drug before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Friday 29th May.
He was brought before Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday 30 June and given a three-year, four-month sentence.
Being released ‘on licence’ means that for the rest of their sentence the released prisoner must stick to certain conditions. Time spent ‘on licence’ in the community is supervised by probation. If the licence conditions are broken the prisoner may be sent back to prison.
He had absolutely no regard for the serious injury he had caused his victim in this unprovoked attack
De Klerk, of Repton Park, Ashford, was on licence from prison at the time of the offence. He was seen with a group of men who were drinking and listening to loud music shortly before the assault.
Witnesses said the victim approached the group before de Klerk punched the man, knocking him to the ground, where he hit his head. The victim cut his head on the pavement and was unconscious for at least five minutes before being taken to hospital. He had no memory of the incident when he regained consciousness.
Questions will need to be asked of the probation office as to why this violent offender was allowed out on licence in the first place, especially as he reoffended so soon after his release.