German student ‘smashed over head with bag of bricks after teen did Nazi salute’

A German student was beaten with a bag of bricks by a gang of teenagers after one performed a Nazi salute, a court heard.

Daniel Ezzedine, then aged 17, was allegedly attacked as he lay motionless on the ground in Canterbury, Kent, last June.

He sustained life-changing injuries and is still undergoing rehabilitation.

Now aged 18, Mr Ezzedine needed part of his brain removed in an emergency operation.

Tensions emerged between Mr Ezzedine’s friends and a group containing Luke Fogarolli, 18, outside a McDonald’s in the city centre on June 4, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

A 15-year-old boy allegedly barged into one of the German students, and the groups crossed paths two days later.

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A 17-year-old defendant sent a Snapchat message saying “beef in Canterbury city centre – who's backing it then asap”, the court heard.

Simon Taylor, prosecuting, said: "Now, it would seem that this relatively minor incident two days before the assault, caused a degree of animosity that led to the attack that forms the basis of this trial.

"[They] are seen to go over to a tree in the city centre and appear to stamp on the bricks in order to pick them up and put them in the bag to use as a weapon.

"When the 17-year-old re-emerges he is looking at his bag. The Crown say this is the likely location where the defendant filled his bag with bricks or some other heavy object in advance of the attack."

Mr Taylor told how Mr Ezzedine kicked out at one of the group, but was pulled to the ground.

He added: "Mr Ezzedine was then on the floor in a half-sitting position. It was at this stage the 17-year-old swung his bag up and over his shoulder and hit Daniel to the right side of the head.

"Such was the force of the blow that Mr Ezzedine's head hit his left shoulder – he then immediately fell to the floor and stopped moving.

"Mr Fogarolli then ran from way over to the right of the group and dealt a full force kick to Mr Ezzedine's head. The force of this blow was such as to cause his body to recoil."

The suspects then allegedly left the scene “bragging and laughing”.

Both defendants gave no comment interviews following their arrest by police.

Fogarolli admitted violent disorder at a previous court hearing, but denies wounding with intent.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to causing wounding with intent and violent disorder.

Both claim they were acting in self-defence.

A further eight teenage suspects are due to appear in court at a later date.

The trial of the two defendants continues.

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