A judge has sent a ‘bully’ to prison after he was caught on camera sucker-punching a man who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Footage outside of a convenience store in Pennsylvania from May showed 29-year-old Barry Baker punching 22-year-old Michael Ryan in the face without provocation.
Baker was charged with assault after he was caught attacking a helpless Ryan on May 10 outside a 7-Eleven store. The CCTV footage from that night shows Ryan pulling up in his SUV, with Barker standing outside the store beforehand.
According to the Delaware Country Times, following his trial Baker begged Common Pleas Court Judge William Mahon for 'leniency' after he was sentenced to three-to-six years in prison.
It is reported before entering the shop Baker mocked Ryan for the he walks. Moments later when he leaves Baker continues to make fun of him before approaching him to land an unsuspecting punch to his face.
Baker pleaded with Judge Mahon for mercy, saying:
This will affect me for the rest of my life... I just want a chance to rebuild it.
However the judge was in a less-than-lenient mood, telling Barry:
You are a bully... You are a predator. You are a coward. In 18 years on the bench I have never had such tangible evidence of someone’s moral compass being so askew.
This was in reference to not only the nature of Baker's crime but the disrespect shown in fleeing from apprehension and being untruthful about the matter - Baker claimed an earlier altercation with someone he mistook Ryan for led to the assault. The judge said Baker had 'extreme difficulty with the truth'.
Speaking to the New York Daily News West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said:
The defendant's actions in this case are appalling... You wonder what would make an individual treat somebody like that.
District Attorney for Chester County, Tom Hogan, added Baker's actions were that of:
... a bully... Every decent citizen should be outraged by the defendant's conduct. The victim is to be commended for keeping his cool and notifying the police.
Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Morgan, who also worked on the case, labelled Barker as 'a menace to society' who needed 'state incarceration'. Morgan went on to say Barker had specifically chosen Ryan as target to intimidate and assault, despite not knowing who he was.
He sucker-punched Mr. Ryan. It was completely unprovoked. The video shows everything you need to know about the type of man Mr. Baker is.
Speaking to according to the Delaware County Daily Times, Barker's defence attorney, Thomas Purl, defended his client's heinous actions citing his rough upbringing as reason for his behaviour towards Ryan. A 'dysfunctional home', in which his mother died of a drug overdose and his father still being an addict, is the reason behind Barker's attack on Ryan - according to Mr Purl.
He also added:
[Baker] is very remorseful... He doesn’t go around hitting people. He’s had a very traumatized time.
Purl claimed on the night of Barker's assault on Ryan his client was drunk, he had made the mistake of thinking Ryan was another individual he knew and had a previous altercation with.
Barker now has 30-days to appeal the outcome of his sentence.