Men jailed for ‘putting the boot in’

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TWO thugs who chased after a man and attacked him on the street late at night, putting the boot in, are both behind bars for six months.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Michael Hereford (29) and his accomplice Ben Porter (20) were partly caught on CCTV and were seen either kicking or stamping on victim John Cable in the trouble in Nelson town centre in July. Both had a record for violence.

Mr Cable, who had been on his own, recalled an altercation with two men and then being hit on the side of the head with what he thought was an object. One assailant had swung his arm towards him and the next thing he remembered was being struck repeatedly while he was on the ground. He was punched and kicked several times and then the police arrived and he went to hospital.

Hereford and Porter, both of Regent Street, Nelson, had admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting), said the victim, who had been drinking, suffered bruising and swelling to his forehead, a cut nose and bruising and swelling to the right side of his face. He couldn’t describe his attackers and didn’t have any idea why he was targeted. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t do anything to provoke the incident.

The defendants were arrested at a house in Nelson. When questioned, Hereford, after being shown the CCTV footage, admitted being one of the two people on it. Porter began by suggesting he had never been involved in any incident and had not been in Nelson. He was shown the footage and was asked what he felt about it now, he said :” It’s pathetic, isn’t it?” The defendant said he had been “bang out of order” and the officers had him banged to rights. Porter told them: “I am not going to lie to you.” The officers asked if he was holding his hand up and he replied :” Yes.”

Mr Richard Taylor, defending both, said they had been drunk. He continued: “It isn’t an excuse, but it’s an explanation as to why they may have lost control.” Both had been distressed to see their behaviour on the CCTV footage and had expressed genuine remorse. The solicitor said: “Both, through me, wish to apologise.”

Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the pair: “This is particularly serious because of the location and timing of the incident and the use of the feet. It seems to me there was probably an intention to cause more harm than happened. The victim was vulnerable because he was on his own and there were two of you.

“Both of you have two previous convictions for violence. I am afraid, given the type of violence this was, I would be failing in my public duty if I didn’t send you to custody.”