For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Ferryhill men jailed for prolonged attack on former friend
TWO men carried out a sustained attack on a former friend, after setting his hair on fire for fun as he slept.
Dean Wilkinson and Andrew Fee were both given 28-month prison sentences after Durham Crown Court heard that their victim feared he would die during the prolonged attack.
The court was told the violence began at a house in Ferryhill, County Durham, where they had all been drinking, but ended in the snow-covered street outside, in the early hours of January 20.
John Gillette, prosecuting, said the victim received a phone call inviting him to the home of the girlfriend of his former flat mate, Fee, late on January 19.
"The victim fell asleep on the sofa, but woke to find his hair on fire.
“He didn’t know who did it, but the defendants were the only people there when he fell asleep and, when he awoke, they were still there, laughing at him.
“He was annoyed and concerned, patting his head to put out the flames, and he called them: ‘A***holes’.
“But that seemed to cause them to ‘kick off’, and begin this sustained assault.”
He was repeatedly punched and kicked by the duo, before Fee’s girlfriend, awoken by the commotion, came downstairs and told them to get out.
The bloodstained victim was ushered out, without his shoes and phone, into the snow-laden street where he knocked at several doors, seeking assistance.
None was forthcoming before Fee approached and shook his hand, as if to apologise, before Wilkinson continued the assault.
Police came across the distressed, blood-soaked victim in the street and he told them he thought he was going to die.
Mr Gillette said the 23-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment, which only ended last month, for numerous cuts and bruises and a fractured vertebrae.
He was left with a seven-inch scar and has been told he may suffer arthritis as a long-term effect of the attack.
Wilkinson, 22, of Richmond Close, and 27-year-old Fee, of Walker Terrace, both Ferryhill, were each arrested later that morning.
The pair, who each have previous offences of violence on their records, both admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Graeme Gaston, for Wilkinson, said since the incident he has settled down with his girlfriend and kept out of trouble, but expects a long custodial sentence.
Ian West, for Fee, said he, perhaps, played a “subordinate role” in the incident, involving a man who had previously been, “a good friend”.
But Judge Christopher Prince said he considered they played an equal role, showing “a high degree of betrayal”, attacking a former friend.
Comments are closed on this article.