TWO men have been jailed over a vicious attack in Battle which saw the victim lose an eye after he was shot in the face with a catapult.
Eli King, 23, of Darvel Down, Netherfield, was sentenced to 12 years after he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent.
Anthony Adams, 22, also of Darvel Down, was jailed for eight years after he pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent.
The court heard how King and Adams attacked Isaac Fuller in front of horrified onlookers, including children, on May 24 this year.
An argument broke out outside Battle Abbey at around 10am and quickly turned violent, spilling out on to the cricket field.
King and Adams fired ball bearing catapults at Mr Fuller, hitting him in the face, the head, the back of the legs and the back.
The victim lost an eye and two of his teeth during the incident.
Father-of-one Mr Fuller, also of Netherfield, gave evidence to the court via videolink.
He told the court that he feared for his life during the attack.
Mr Fuller said: “I was really scared.
“I thought I have got to run off, I can’t do anything else, I just have to run.
“I was scared for my life.”
Eli King had initially denied a charge of GBH, but was found guilty following a trial at Brighton.
King already had a number of criminal convictions to his name.
In 2007, when King was just 17-years-old, he was given an antisocial behaviour order following a string of offences committed in Rother.
These included using foul and abusive language in public, exposing himself to passersby in Robertsbridge, shouting, swearing and spitting at passing motorists in Sedlescombe and trespassing.
Sussex Police said that the jailing of King and Adams on Monday sent out a clear message.
Speaking after the case, Detective Sergeant Paul Graham said: “The sentences Adams and King received reflect the seriousness of the assault.
“The victim suffered a sustained attack which resulted in life changing injuries.
“The long jail sentences send out a message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Sergeant Paul Masterson of the Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team, thanked all the eyewitnesses, including passersby and Battle businessmen, who came forward with information following the incident.
He said: “I would like to thank the witnesses, many who were residents of Battle, who took the time to give thorough and accurate statements.
“This highlights that the people of Battle are always prepared to stand up for what is right.”