04:09AM, Wednesday 18 July 2012
A soldier based at Victoria Barracks in Windsor has admitted nearly killing a 15-year-old schoolboy in a racist attack.
Ashley Dacosta pleaded guilty at Hove Crown Court on June 29, to GBH and racially motivated GBH against Mo Bourner, now 16, in De La Warr Parade, Bexhill, Sussex, on October 29.
The 20-year-old guardsman changed his plea at the 11th hour and confessed to punching him after previously denying he was involved in the incident.
The teenager suffered severe brain damage after being attacked as he was walking home with friends from a beach party.
Mo fell against a parked car, before hitting his head on the pavement and was left in a coma, which led doctors and police fearing he would die after he damaged 90 per cent of his brain.
He is now receiving intense therapy at Tabworth Court in Surrey following brain damage which left him paralysed.
The attack led Sussex Police to launch a major appeal to garner information about his attacker and officers set up Facebook page The Mo Bourner Appeal.
BBC television series Crimewatch also broadcast a reconstruction of the attack in mid-December as part of the hunt for Mo's attacker.
A Sussex Police spokesman said yesterday Dacosta pleaded guilty to attacking the teenager.
He said Dacosta, whose last address given was Silvester Road, Bexhill, is standing trial this week at Hove Crown Court for perverting the court of justice.
The soldier denies the charge and is appearing with Jack Carrick, 25, of Bexhill, Sussex, who also denies it.
Dacosta will be sentenced for afflicting GBH after the conclusion of the trial.
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