A British man who was forced to have half his skull removed following a brutal assault says he’s disgusted that his attacker is being released from prison after just four months.
Braden Stromberg, 27, was punched in the face by Kyle Stephenson, 32, in an unprovoked attack that occurred in Derbyshire, England in May 2022.
Stromberg fell to the ground and smashed his head, leaving him with severe swelling to the brain. Doctors battled to save the young man’s life by removing the right side of his skull during an emergency three-hour operation.
The groundskeeper subsequently spent 15 days in an induced coma before making a miraculous recovery, living to see his attacker charged with grievous bodily harm.
Stephenson was jailed for one year and ten-and-a-half months in February, but is now set to be released after serving just four months behind bars.
“I feel like it’s robbed me of justice,” Stromberg said in an interview with South West News Service. “Four months isn’t even enough time for a house plant to grow. It’s ridiculous.”
“All my family agree with me, they are all p- – -ed off,” Stromberg continued. “It’s really shocking that he’s not even going to serve half of his sentence.”
“He nearly ended my life and now he’s out free and he has absolutely no remorse.”
Stromberg did not know Stephenson prior to the attack. The Brit was walking to the shops with his girlfriend on a spring afternoon when he was set upon by the criminal.
A strong Stromberg is now awaiting further surgery to insert a titanium plate to reconstruct his skull, but news of Stephenson’s release has caused an emotional setback in addition to the ongoing physical issues.
For now, he lives in fear a single fall or knock to the head will kill him and he is forced to wear a helmet to shield his unprotected brain whenever he leaves the house.
Stromberg says he was told the news of Stephenson’s impending release in an email from Britain’s Ministry of Justice. They said the offender will be made subject to a curfew and wear an electronic tag.
“We thought he would be in prison for Christmas but now he gets to spend summer and Christmas with his family,” Stromberg fumed. “That’s not taking any freedom away from him at all or giving him any consequences for his actions.
“My life is on hold and he can start having drinks and barbecues with his family and I can’t even go out myself.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson didn’t deny Stephenson’s release, saying in a statement: “This was a terrible crime and our thoughts are with Mr. Stromberg and his family.”
“Offenders must pass tough risk assessments before being approved for Home Detention Curfew and abide by strict rules — which if broken will see them returned to prison.”
Stromberg says he focusing on the fact that he is lucky to be alive and is looking forward to getting through his next operation so that he can continue with his recovery.
“Every doctor I have spoken to has said how lucky I am to not have woken up from the coma paralyzed or in a vegetated state,” he said.
“They can’t believe it. There might be an inch of spinal fluid where my skull has been removed and then it’s just my brain unprotected.”