Jail for Colne brothers who beat up man after mum was hurt

Luke Driver
Luke Driver

Two of three brothers who beat up a man in revenge after he was said to have assaulted their mother have been locked up.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Matthew Wilkinson had knocked out Jackie Driver’s tooth after she hit him and he punched her back in a row last August. Mrs Driver then made a phone call and minutes later, her sons Shane and Luke had turned up. Their younger brother Mark was already at his mother ‘s house on Rhoda Street,Nelson.

Shane Driver

Shane Driver

The hearing was told how the three brothers began to attack Mr Wilkinson, punching and kicking him, he fell to the ground and was hit and booted some more. The defendants then ran off.

Mr Wilkinson suffered severe swelling to his head and a gashed ear, but his injuries were not as serious as was first thought. The defendants had been arrested. Luke Driver told police he had “battered” the victim. He was wearing a T-shirt covered in blood which turned out to be the victim’s. Mark Driver was wearing shorts on his arrest and told officers his clothes were in the dryer. Luke and Shane Driver made no comment when interviewed.

The brothers, all of Keighley Avenue, Colne, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm. Shane Driver (20), who has 61 offences on his record and Luke Driver (22), who has 19 previous convictions, were each sent to custody for 16 months. College student Mark Driver (17), who has two previous convictions, received a two year youth rehabilitation order, with 240 hours unpaid work and a six-month 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Miss Jennifer Blewitt (proseuting) said since the assault Mr Wilkinson had been recalled to prison and was not supportive of the prosecution. He had not been prosecuted for the assault on Mrs Driver.

Mr Martin Hackett, defending, said Luke Driver could become a productive member of society if he stopped drinking, For Shane Driver, the barrister said: “He acted without thinking in an excessive way.”

Miss Rachel Cooper, representing Mark Driver told the court: “He is growing up and if he went to custody, he would be likely to come out more criminally sophisticated than he is now.”

Sentencing, Recorder David Williams said the brothers were not reluctant to get involved in violence.

He said the assault on Mr Wilkinson was nasty, although he acknowledged that the defendant’s mother had been assaulted and would be distressed.

The judge, who said the pictures of Mr Wilkinson’s injuries were horrendous, said his concern was law and order in the Burnley area. He told the Drivers: “You behaved in a way which meant you took the law entirely into your own hands. We can’t have that in the Burnley area or anywhere else in this country.”