I thought they would blind me, says victim of assault in Belgrave , Leicester
A robbery victim feared he would be blinded after two drunken thugs repeatedly punched and kicked him.
Hitesh Chauhan suffered severe injuries, especially to his face and eyes, when he was attacked and robbed while walking to work in Belgrave, Leicester, last summer.
Gordon Wright and Richard Mason, who were this week jailed for the attack, had been drinking heavily when they attacked the 34-year-old married father-of-two.
Mr Chauhan said he had tried to flee but the pair caught up and started raining blows on him. As he lay helpless on the ground, possibly unconscious, they stole his phone and wallet.
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He said: "I still don't understand why they did this to me. I did nothing to them to deserve this.
"They were following me and I tried to get away from them, but they caught up with me and began hitting me. It went on for such a long time. I think I blacked out at one point.
"I was taken to hospital and I was in a lot of pain. There was a lot of damage to my eyes and all I could think was 'I am going to lose my sight'. The doctors told me that was possible but, thankfully, I am getting better and my eyes are okay.
"I am fully satisfied with the punishment the court has given these men.
"It means they cannot do something like this to someone else for some time."
Mr Chauhan's wife Rakhi, 33, said: "Physically, my husband is okay and getting better, but he is scared and is still asking why these men did this to him.
"He had lost a lot of blood and there were terrible injuries around his eyes and on his body. It was horrible and our two sons were also very upset to see their father like this.
"The doctors told us he was lucky they were able to save his sight. It was a very difficult time for our family.
"Until this happened, my husband wasn't scared of anything, but now he doesn't like to go out at night because he is worried something like this could happen to him again.
"We will get through this together because we are a very strong family. We are just glad those two men have been sent to prison."
Leicester Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Wright and Mason began following Mr Chauhan in Belgrave Road shortly before 5am on August 25 as he set off for work at a city bakery.
Wright, of Tomasson Road, Crown Hills, Leicester, and Mason, of Barley Close, Glenfield, admitted robbing Mr Chauhan of a mobile phone and a wallet.
Wright (27) told the court he had drunk 30 cans of beer. He was jailed for three years and 10 months.
Mason (20), of Barley Close, Glenfield, was said to have played a lesser role in the mugging and used no violence.
He told the court he had drunk 15 cans of beer before the attack.
He was jailed for two years and eight months.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC told the pair: "Notwithstanding a number of witnesses, you carried out an attack of gratuitous violence over and above what was necessary to take his property.
"It had a profound effect upon him.
"He's understandably worried when he's in his home, when he's out and worried for members of his family when they're out.
"These are profound effects an offence of robbery can have on people."