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Bexhill soldier admits attacking teenage boy
A soldier has admitted nearly killing a teenager in a racist attack.
Former Sussex school pupil Ashley Dacosta changed his plea at the 11th hour and confessed to punching Mo Bourner.
The 20-year-old guardsman had previously denied attacking Mo as he walked home from a beach bonfire in October last year.
Mo was 15 when he was attacked in Da La Warr Parade in Bexhill, with friends on October 29.
Dacosta, who previously attended Bexhill High School, called Mo over.
It is believed Dacosta said: “Oi boy come over here – you need someone to teach you a lesson” before punching him once in the face.
Mo fell against a parked car, hitting his head on the pavement and was left in a coma, with doctors and police fearing he would die.
He was taken to hospital and then onto specialist brain injury hospital Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath.
At the time Sussex Police said they did not know if Mo would live. He was not breathing for himself and 90% of his brain was damaged.
A major appeal was launched for information about Mo’s attacker.
In a rare move police set up at a Facebook page where teens could report information in a way they felt comfortable.
A Crimewatch reconstruction also took place and by Christmas last year Mo, who used to attend Bexhill High School, had uttered a few words.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman yesterday said: “Ashley Dacosta, 20, appeared at Hove Crown Court and pleaded guilty to racially-motivated grievous bodily harm against teenager, Mo Bourner, last October.”
Mo, who is receiving intensive therapy at Tabworth Court in Surrey, was at his father Peter Bourner’s home in Hooe, near Hastings at the weekend.
Mr Bourner said he was pleased Dacosta, who is in custody, had admitted the attack.
He said: “We are pleased that Dacosta admitted the attack on Mo.
“He is doing really well and is home today. After his sentencing we can start to move on.”
On Monday, July 16, Dacosta, whose last address was given as Silvester Road, Bexhill, is due to appear at Hove Crown Court along with Jack Carrick, 25, of Manor Road, Bexhill. They have both been charged with perverting the course of justice, to which they have pleaded not guilty.
Carrick was bailed until his crown court appearance.