Thugs jailed over Solihull pub attack on grieving man

A pair of drunk thugs who subjected a grieving man to a ‘vicious’ pub attack shortly after his brother’s funeral have been jailed.

Lester Beeson, 61, was sharing a quiet drink with friend Kevin Morgan at the Olton Tavern, Lode Lane, Solihull, after laying his brother to rest.

But when he asked a group of drunken louts on the next table to be quiet he was pelted with a banana skin and plastic shot glass.

When Mr Morgan stepped in to intervene, he was subjected to a violent attack by Reiss Johnson, 27, and Daniel Stirling, 22.

Dad-of-two Johnson then went on to attack grieving Mr Beeson, punching him to the floor and stamping on his face.

Birmingham Crown Court heard callous Johnson, of New Summer Street, Newtown, even sat down to finish his drink after the bloody attack.

He was jailed for 16 months after admitting two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Stirling, of Guernsey Drive, Smithswood, was jailed for six months after admitting the same charge against just Mr Morgan.

Footage of the sickening violence was released by police in a bid to track down Johnson and Stirling last May.

Jailing the pair, Recorder Simon Ward said: “ I take the view anyone who attacks somebody in a public house without provocation as you two did on the video simply has to go to prison.

“Mr Beeson and Mr Morgan had been to a wake.

“You two were sitting at the table next to theirs and had too much to drink, each of you acting rowdily, no doubt annoying everyone in earshot.

“Reiss Johnson you were throwing what I am told were plastic shot glasses, one hit Mr Beeson.

“It was never going to do him harm but was not something anyone would want to happen when going for a quiet drink, especially after going to a funeral.

“Anyone would be entitled to come and tell you what they thought of your behaviour.

“Rather than apologise you rose to the bait and started to get threatening to the point Mr Beeson thought you were going to use violence against him.

“You hit him, knocked him to the ground, he was kicked to the head.

“He thinks he was knocked unconscious, I suspect that is right because he was not aware of the two stamps you later landed on him.

“He was lying helpless on the ground, you stamped on him, not in succession – you walked away and then came back to him.

“There can be no mitigation for that.

“Mr Morgan was trying to stop this. He was punched, kicked to the head and body and the pair of you kicked and punched him while he was on the ground.

“Having watched the video I can only describe this as a vicious attack.”

Mr Beeson was left with a cut to his ear, cuts to his mouth and bruises to his face and head.

Mr Morgan suffered black eyes and other bruises to his face and head.

Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting, said an eyewitness to the April 14 attack described how callous Johnson calmly finished his drink after the beatings.

He said: “Other violence had come to an end and the group were leaving, he came back to the table and effectively finished his drink.

“Once he finished his drink he decided it was time to leave.”

Balbir Singh, defending Johnson, said both he and Stirling had completed a training course with Jaguar Land Rover that day and were celebrating.

He said Johnson was not used to drinking and had not touched a drop since the incident.

Mr Singh said: “When he saw the CCTV he was appalled.

“He has been full of regret, remorse and shame and can’t believe what happened.”

Stirling was also said to be remorseful and in a letter to the court expressed a wish to personally apologise.

His actions were described as out of character.


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