Teenagers involved in drunken takeaway fracas told by judge: 'You deserve to go to prison'. (From The Northern Echo)
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Teenagers involved in drunken takeaway fracas in Hartlepool told they 'deserve prison'
TWO teenagers who attacked a customer during a drunken take-away fracas walked free from court - despite being told by a judge: "You deserve to go to prison."
Daniel Sinclair and Adam Donley punched and kicked one of their victims and booted him when he was defenceless on the ground outside the shop in Hartlepool.
Sinclair was caught on closed circuit television cameras starting the trouble inside the fast-food joint while his friend initially tried to act as a peace-maker.
But the footage - played at Teesside Crown Court yesterday - showed both 19-year-olds wading in once the altercation had moved outside into York Road.
The teenagers admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm from last September's incident and were given suspended jail sentences with unpaid work.
Judge Gillian Matthews, QC, told the pair, both from Hartlepool: "You deserve a sentence of imprisonment, but I'm not prepared to give up on you yet.
"Sinclair, you started this. This is all your fault. When you staggered into the take-away, you could have easily just got your food and staggered off home.
"When you kick a man when he is prone on the ground, you deserve to go to prison . . . the photographs of the complainant's injuries are truly horrible."
Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court that the victim suffered a fractured nose and badly bruised left eye - and his face was so swollen it was deformed.
Ian Mullarkey, for unemployed Sinclair, of Lancaster Road, accepted it was "a deeply unpleasant offence" and said: "He regrets deeply getting involved in this."
Jim Withyman, for Donley, of Ventnor Avenue, added: "We saw his true character when he was shaking people's hands and trying to calm things down."
The window cleaner was given eight months, suspended for two years, with six months of supervision and 120 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Sinclair received ten months, again suspended for a year, with supervision and 150 hours of work.