Father and son left passenger with horrendous injuries in row over seat

A dad and son have been given suspended sentences this week after leaving a fellow plane passenger with "horrendous injuries" in a violent attack.

Robert Powell, 58, the director of an online counselling company, and his son James, 22, were found guilty by magistrates of assault by beating earlier this month.

Uxbridge Magistrates' Court heard that the pair had gotten into a row with the victim Sreenivasayyr Janakiram whilst on a flight to Heathrow on 25 September 2021.

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District judge Deborah Wright said the argument was "to do with the seat going back".

It was said that the confrontation began as Robert Powell approached the victim and pushed him whilst waiting for the terminal shuttle.

The ordeal then escalated as Mr Powell's son waded in and inflicted a number of blows to the victim, stopping him from getting away.

The vicious assault saw the victim sustain a series of injuries including cuts and bruises on his face and neck as well as a large swelling on his cheek.

In mitigation, Robert Powell alleged: "At the time, I thought I was standing up for myself because someone threatened me and I realise that was wrong and that the courts in this country don't see that as appropriate behaviour."

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Ms Wright replied: "You clearly targeted him in the hall, he was standing there minding his own business. You could have left it, but you decided not to. He ended up with horrendous injuries. You two acted as a pack."

As well as the suspended prison sentences, the pair were ordered to pay £998 each – made up of £250 compensation to the victim, £1,620 of prosecution costs and a surcharge of £128.

Robert Powell was also given an electronically monitored tag for three months while his son was given a tag for six months.

Judge Ms Wright condemned their actions as she sentenced them, she said: "The behaviour of both of you was appalling."

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