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Man jailed for attack on deputy editor

A deputy editor who was viciously beaten up and left for dead has praised CCTV operators and emergency services who came to his aid, after his attacker was jailed for four years.

Paul Dent-Jones, deputy editor at the Essex Chronicle, has written a first-person piece about finding himself at the centre of a news story following the attack on him by Richard Quinn on 22 July.

Quinn, 41, was jailed for four years and four months at Chelmsford Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Paul was left bleeding and with injured ribs, a broken nose, bruising and swelling after Quinn punched him to the ground and stamped on his head and body – but Judge Karen Walden-Smith said he was lucky not to be killed by the attack.

Writing about the incident, Paul said he believed his life had been saved by CCTV operators who had followed Quinn on camera after being alerted by staff at Bar 7, where the pair had a disagreement.

He wrote: “As a journalist it is rare to find myself at the centre of a news story. Perhaps I could have asked my editor to overlook this story – who wouldn’t be anxious about being featured heavily in the local newspaper in these circumstances?

“But the truth is it’s newsworthy, and the fact that I’m deputy editor makes no odds. I feel it is a story that should be told.

“Not because I want to exact revenge on my attacker – I feel sad that a man has been jailed – but because I want to throw a positive light on the emergency services.

“I woke up in hospital bloodied, bruised, confidence shattered and with a concussion that lasted for weeks. But the point is, I woke up.

“And that’s all down to a handful of publicity-shy people, who are often criticised, but rarely praised.

“If it was not for the staff at Bar 7, who had the foresight to alert the CCTV operators about Richard Quinn, my attack would probably have gone unnoticed.

“And if it was not for the diligent CCTV operatives, who painstakingly followed Quinn on camera before alerting the police and paramedics, I may have lain unconscious for hours before being found and Mr Quinn would probably have escaped conviction.”

Paul also praised the paramedic who found his wife’s phone number on his mobile phone to tell her about the attack and the fast response by the police which meant Quinn was arrested just after the assault finished.