Teenagers sentenced for serious assault of former police officer in New Brighton

Two teenagers who beat a community-spirited, former police officer to within an inch of his life have been sentenced.

The boys, who were both 15 at the time and can’t be named because of their age, attacked the then 56-year-old former police officer on New Brighton Promenade at 7am on 12 January 2021.

The victim, who was, at the time, working as a lecturer at Chester University, saw the boys throwing pieces of wood from a local driftwood sculpture called “The Black Pearl”.

The victim was on his usual morning jog and thought the boys were swinging the wood towards a young woman jogging ahead of him. He stopped and spoke to them as he was concerned for her safety. He said, “Look lads, don’t be so stupid, what are you doing?”

The boys, who had their hoods pulled up, responded with abuse and aggression. The victim was then hit with a large piece of wood to the side of his head.

The teenagers then launched a violent attack on him. He told officers later that he thought, “They’re kids, don’t, whatever you do, hit them, they’re kids. But within a fraction of a second I was incapable of doing virtually anything.”

He eventually managed to get away and passers-by came to help him. They called the emergency services. A Police Officer spoke to the victim but he fell unconscious and began to fit. At one point he stopped breathing and was put in the recovery position.

He was taken to the Trauma Unit at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool where he was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury. The injury has changed his life and that of his family. He has been left with a stammer, a constant headache, poor short-term memory and personality issues.

Both boys were arrested at their homes in New Brighton, one on the morning of the attack and the other the next day.

They initially both denied the attack. However, in July, they pleaded guilty to Grievous Bodily Harm.

Today, 23 August 2022, at Liverpool Crown Court, one of the youths was sentenced to 5 years and two months youth detention and the other was given a five year term in youth detention.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Leanne Kennedy, said, “This has been an extremely distressing case to work on. The victim was a man who has spent most of his adult life working to help others in his community. On the day of the attack, he confronted the boys because he feared they were about to attack a woman jogger.

“For that act, they launched a vicious attack on him that has left him with injuries that have changed his life forever. He is not the man he was and probably never will be. His attackers are not even adults, yet have committed a dreadful offence on an innocent man.

“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the victim and his family for their help in bringing this prosecution. His injuries meant it was very difficult for the victim to give evidence. He recorded his victim personal statement as he was unable to wrote it down at the time.

“As a CPS prosecutor, I have found this a dreadfully sad case to work on – as many of our cases are. I hope the successful conclusion brings them some sort of closure.

“I would also like to thank Detective Constable Nick Moore of Merseyside Police for his thorough and timely investigation which has helped this prosecution enormously.”

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Inspector Emma Kerrigan of Merseyside Police, said, “We are pleased that these young men have been dealt with for their abusive and extremely violent behaviour which has left the victim with life-changing injuries as a result of his brain injury.

“This man spent his career helping others in the community, putting his own safety on the line every day to help keep people safe.

“We are committed to robustly dealing with offenders who are violent and have a negative impact on communities.

“If you witness or experience any anti-social behaviour then please report it to us. Our action is targeted in those areas where members of the public tell us there are issues, and where we receive reports of anti-social behaviour, we will not hesitate to take action.

“Anyone with information about anti-social behaviour in their community can speak to local officers or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.”

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