A ‘COMPLIMENT’ about a woman’s legs ended in a savage, unprovoked group attack on her boyfriend in Worcester which left him with a permanent scar.

Laurentiu Scapau claimed self-defence at his trial but was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery by magistrates.

The 31-year-old of Washington Street, Worcester, the only man to be convicted for the group attack, appeared at Hereford Crown Court on Wednesday following assaults against Marian Vulturu and partner Maria Simonesc on September 30 last year.

Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting, said Scapau had shown ‘no remorse’ and did not accept the court’s verdict.

Up to five men were involved and the man suspected of throwing the first punch is believed to have returned to Romania.

Mr Amarasinghe said it was Scapau who fetched others to join the attack on Mr Vulturu at the junction of Washington Street and Southfield Street in the Arboretum.

Miss Simonesc described how the men made‘rude comments’ towards her in Romanian.

She tried to ignore them but they persisted so she told them her boyfriend, Mr Vulturu, was ‘coming soon’.

They told her they ‘didn’t care’, stood in her way, invaded her personal space and used foul language. When her partner arrived they set upon him in a ‘savage’, ‘sustained’ and ‘unprovoked’ attack.

Mr Amarasinghe said: “It involves punching him, putting him to the floor. They jump on him, kick him whilst he’s on the ground. The witnesses said he was stamped on several times.

“Miss Simonesc lost count of the number of times he was hit. Mr Vulturu could hear her screaming.”

When Miss Simonesc intervened she was grabbed by one of the attackers, not Scapau, and pulled away, sworn at and warned she too would be beaten up.

Mr Vulturu sustained a 2cm cut to his right eye which needed to be glued at hospital. His eye was also bloodshot and he suffered bruising to his left arm, ‘lumps and bumps’ to his head and was spitting blood for four days after the attack.

The court heard he was left with a permanent scar and has suffered flashbacks. The injuries also prevented the victim speaking to his father before he died.

In police interview Scapau said it was ‘all a misunderstanding’ concerning a compliment about Miss Simonesc’s legs.

Mark Sheward, defending, said his client accepted the conviction but was not responsible for everything that took place.

He said the married father and long distance lorry driver was the main breadwinner for his family.

He added: “His main concern is what is going to happen to them. The people who will be punished if he goes to custody will be his wife and child.”

Mr Sheward described Scapau as ‘a loving father, husband and hard worker’ who had never been out of work or relied upon benefits.

Judge Nicholas Cole said: “Those who kick people on the ground and stamp on their head must understand that very serious injuries can often arise.”

He told Scapau he had played a leading role in a group attack.

However, he balanced this against the defendant’s lack of previous convictions and accepted the submission that the attack was ‘out of character’.

He sentenced him to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Vulturu.