Man jailed after shaking hands with his victim he then viciously attacked at Bethnal Green

James Flanagan... jailed after "vicious" attack on victim outside Bethnal Green Underground station

James Flanagan... jailed after "vicious" attack on victim outside Bethnal Green Underground station - Credit: MPS/Archant

A man who tricked his victim into shaking his hand “to put him off guard” has been jailed for viciously attacking him outside an Underground station in London’s East End.

The victim was beaten up outside Bethnal Green station in the middle of the night by 35-year-old James Flanagan, who deceived him by “offering to shake his hand before resuming the attack”, police said.

The 36-year-old victim struck his head on the pavement and suffered serious head injuries.

“Flanagan’s actions have caused irreparable damage to his victim’s life,” Pc Angus Handley said. “He now faces a long road to recovery.

“This attack has had a devastating impact on his friends and family—I hope the jail sentence is some small comfort to them.”


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Flanagan, from Marsden Street in Kentish Town, was jailed for two years when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.

He had admitted GBH when he first appeared before Thames magistrates in east London on November 7—the day after the 1am incident when he punched his victim repeatedly after having shaken his hand.

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“This was a despicable and unprovoked attack,” Pc Hadley added. “It was aggravated by the cowardly deception by Flanagan to take the victim off guard.”

A second man awaits trial charged with common assault, obstructing an emergency worker and a public order offence against paramedics while they were treating the victim at the scene, Scotland Yard has confirmed. The 22-year-old appears before Stratford magistrates on May 11.

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