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Epileptic man could have died after assault, court hears

An autistic man with epilepsy could have died when he was attacked by at least two men, Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

The mother of Kenyatta Dottin said in a victim impact statement that “one blow to the head could have killed” her son because of his epilepsy.

She added that Mr Dottin, who was left with bruises and a burst lip after Zaiyas Symonds, 19, and another man assaulted him, suffered post-traumatic stress because of the attack.

Alan Richards, for the Crown, read from the mother’s statement.

She wrote: “He will never be able to put in words what he is feeling and as his primary caretaker I cannot imagine the amount of pain he’s going through.

“I hope he can put the pieces of his life together.”

Symonds, from Southampton, pleaded guilty on May 11 to an assault on Mr Dottin that caused him bodily harm.

He was sentenced yesterday after the case was adjourned for a social inquiry report.

The court heard Mr Dottin, from Sandys, was riding his bicycle close to his home on July 3 last year when people in a passing car shouted insults at him.

The car stopped and three men, including Symonds, got out and attacked Mr Dottin.

The men claimed that Mr Dottin had insulted the brother of one of the men, but Mr Dottin said that he was not aware of that he had offended anyone.

Symonds kicked and punched Mr Dottin as the driver of the car filmed the incident.

The attack ended after bystanders intervened and the men escaped.

The attack was reported to police and Symonds and two other men were arrested.

Mr Dottin was treated at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for a bruised leg, a swollen ear and a burst lip.

Symonds told the court yesterday that Mr Dottin had stolen from them and that they went to confront him.

He added: “I’ve known Kenyatta all my life and I didn’t know he had those problems.

“I am sorry for what happened.”

Jonathan White, for the defence, asked the court to consider his client’s age, early guilty plea and his previous clean record.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo sentenced Symonds to three years probation and ordered him to comply with Department of Court Services’ instructions.

He adjourned the case for review on November 19.

One man was convicted in connection with the assault in May and another will face trial next month.

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