Attack on autistic man in King’s Lynn park filmed on mobile phone

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An autistic man was filmed by a group of attackers screaming in pain while being burned with a lit cigarette after he got drunk and collapsed in a park.

Mobile phone footage of the attack, which was played to West Norfolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, included a voice shouting: “Have a scar for today to remember it.”

Luke Goldsmith, 18, who himself was said to suffer from learning difficulties, admitted taking part in the attack in Lynn on August 17 last year.

Alan Wheetman, prosecuting, said the victim, who has a mental age of eight, was paralytically drunk.

He said: “This defendant it would seem, possibly egged on by others, although it is clear from the video some females in the crowd were trying to get him to desist, set about him while he was lying on the floor by burning him with a lit cigarette on a number of occasions.”

Mr Wheetman said Goldsmith, who only changed his plea to guilty moments before a trial was due to get under way, had initially claimed he tried to help the man, but a cigarette may have fallen from his mouth onto the victim as he tried to help him off the ground.

Alison Muir, mitigating, said Goldsmith, who was accompanied in court by his father, suffered from ADHD and was borderline autistic.

She said: “He was encouraged by others in his actions. It was never meant to be malicious. It was a joke that went rather wrong.”

Miss Muir said Goldsmith and the victim had been friends before the attack and Goldsmith had called an ambulance and accompanied him to hospital after the mobile footage was recorded not because of the burns, which caused only minor injuries, but because he was worried about the victim’s level of drunkenness.

Goldsmith, of Euston Way, South Wootton, was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work, 12 months of supervision for assault and ordered to pay £100 compensation.

There was no order for costs because of Goldsmith’s limited means, but he must pay £60 to a national victims of crime fund.