A HOODED attacker who was part of a gang who beat a man unconscious down a dark alley failed to show up to court after earlier making claims he had Covid-19.

Brennan Kilner failed to attend Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday for his sentence and a warrant was issued for his arrest by Judge Nicolas Cartwright after calls to the defendant's mobile phone had gone unanswered.

The 22-year-old had informed the court, through his legal representative, that he had 'symptoms of Covid-19' at hearing on April 23 this year.

"He did not attend, claiming he had Covid yet again" said the judge. Kilner had previously surrendered to another warrant, issued by the same judge, on April 15 this year.

As previously reported, the ‘gloating’ attackers were Martin Coffey, 26, of Maple Avenue, Worcester, Asfandyar Kiani, 20, of Ludstock Close, Worcester, Brennan Kilner, 22, of Sidbury, Worcester and Mohammed Raja, 21, of Avon Road, Worcester.

All took part in the group attack upon Kester Jardine in Black Horse Walk, Lowesmoor, Worcester on March 26, 2019. So far only Kilner has not been sentenced for his role in the attack which saw Kiani steal the man's wallet as he lay unconscious.

Issuing the warrant, Judge Cartwright said: "We will just never get him here otherwise. I will issue a warrant not backed for bail."

He added: "I haven't totted up how many hearings we have had in this case but it must be into double figures by now."

As previously reported, it was Kilner who told police who the other attackers were.

Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting, said during a previous hearing: "Martin Coffey was identified as a result of his co-defendant Mr Kilner being interviewed who named this defendant and the others.”

The victim was punched and kicked by the gang, who all stand convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, even as he lay unconscious and entirely helpless on the ground. Kiani came back but not to help the man, only to steal his wallet.

The victim suffered pain and soreness to his face, a damaged nose and grazes and swelling to his hands which led to a loss of dexterity which had an impact on his work in a kitchen. Mr Jardine and his friend were chased by the gang after they declined the group’s offer to sell them cannabis.

Coffey was sentenced to 22 months in prison. Raja was given a 14 month prison sentence suspended for two years. Kiani was jailed for eight years but this defendant was also sentenced for a more serious transphobic assault on a gay couple in Malvern on September 20, 2019, one victim suffering a broken jaw and the other a broken nose. Both were knocked out during the attack.

Brandon Taylor, who was a youth at the time, was also involved in both the attack on Mr Jardine and the transphobic attack on the gay men. For this and other matters of violence, including an attack with a pool ball and a street robbery, Taylor, now 19, received a nine and half year prison sentence last month. This was an extended sentence to reflect the ruling that Taylor is a dangerous offender as defined in law.