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'Worrying and disturbing' - Jail for man who left homeless woman for 'dead' in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 13 June 2019

Reece Finch. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Reece Finch. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

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A man attacked a homeless woman and left her for dead following a "worrying and disturbing" assault in Great Yarmouth, a court has heard.

Police cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph NortonPolice cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph Norton

Reece Finch, 19, was 18 when he came across a 63-year-old homeless woman looking to bed down for the night in an alleyway off Yarmouth's market place.

John Morgans, prosecuting, told a jury at Norwich Crown Court that Finch grabbed the victim from behind and put her in a headlock before he then rammed her head into a metal gate leaving her with a fractured eye socket and cheekbones.

The injured woman managed to stagger into the Market Place where she was later found lying unconscious and badly injured and was taken to hospital to be treated.

Traces of the victim's blood were found splattered 7ft high up walls near to where the attack took place at about 12.30am on October 12 last year.

Police cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph NortonPolice cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph Norton

The court heard that after the "brutal" attack, Finch left the scene covered in blood and later lied to friends that he had been in a fight with a 20 year-old and he had "left him for dead".

But Finch's friends gave evidence against him at trial after they later discovered that the victim was not a young man but in fact a woman.

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Traces of the victim's blood had been left on Finch's clothing following the attack and was later discovered by police.

Police cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph NortonPolice cordon off alleyway near Great Yarmouth market place. Picture: Joseph Norton

The victim, who has since recovered from her ordeal, provided a statement to police which was used as part of the evidence during the trial in April.

Finch, of North Quay, Yarmouth, had denied causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent but was unanimously convicted by the jury in just over an hour.

Judge Stephen Holt told him it was a "worrying and disturbing offence" and asked for reports to assess what danger Finch posed.

He said: "I found what happened that night extremely worrying."

Judge Holt assessed Finch as "dangerous" and handed him an extended 12 year sentence, made up of eight years custody and four years extended licence.

Simon Gladwell, who represented Finch, said his client was still young.

During the trial the jury heard how the victim had been living on the streets since 2013, having moved to Norfolk from Merseyside, and had been left scared to go back on the streets following the violent assault.

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