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Trio of thugs jailed for canal attack
3:00pm Monday 3rd September 2012 in News
A TRIO of drunken thugs who carried out a "grotesque" attack on a Brierley Hill man have been jailed.
The yobs punched and kicked the man on a canal towpath in a brutal unprovoked attack before throwing his trousers and shoes into the water.
At Wolverhampton Crown Court, the gang of teenagers were put behind bars for a total of eight years for the assault, which happened after they had been drinking at a birthday party.
Judge Amjad Nawaz told the three: "This was a member of the public walking along the canal towpath making his way home, you called him a paedo and that was the catalyst that lead to this mob attack. You chased after him.
"He was told to run and, fearful for his safety, that is what he did. He was then surrounded and punched and kicked while he was on the floor unable to defend himself."
The victim suffered a fractured collarbone, a broken nose and a punctured lung together with cuts and bruising.
The judge told Sam Billingham, Daniel Hewitt and a youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, their victim was having difficulty breathing and that must have been patently obvious.
He added: "One of the girls who was with you shouted to you to stop, had you not done so one wonders just what would the outcome have been.
"It is clear that in a drunken stupor you all lost control and that is a frightening feature of the case. You all engaged in what was grotesque behaviour."
Billingham, aged 18, of Chancery Way, Brierley Hill, and 18-year-old Daniel Hewitt of Bird Street, Lower Gornal , both admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and they were sent to a young offenders institution for 30 months.
The youth from Pensnett denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury at the end of his trial and was put behind bars for three years.
The judge told them all: "Members of the public must be able to go where they want without being attacked by a drunken mob. A sentence must be passed that will act as a deterrent for others who involve themselves in this kind of behaviour."
He said the fact they had all been drinking heavily before the attack at the birthday celebrations was no mitigation for their actions.
William Rickaby, prosecuting, told the court the victim's life had been badly affected by the vicious attack. He still suffered pain while now finding it difficult to go out at night and was continually wary about being approached by others.
A fourth teenager was also charged by police after the attack but he was cleared by the jury at the end of the trial and discharged.
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