Middlesbrough gang sentenced over violent attack which cost victim his legs

Drove car: Brian Letchford, 38, jailed for 13 years

Guilty: Andrew Daniels, 36, will serve at least eight years

Jailed: Mark Daniels, 34, sentenced alongside brother

Jailed: Kevin Dawson, 35, jailed for eight years

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

A GANG left a former boxer “with no life, just a mere existence” after pinning him to a gatepost with a taxi and stabbing him with a sword.

The Honourable Justice Sir Robin Spencer said it was difficult to envisage a more serious case of grievous bodily harm with intent.

The attack, in Grangetown, Middlesbrough, in the early hours of July 4, 2009, left Kevin Harland with no legs, restricted to a wheelchair, and with no realistic possibility of ever working again.

In a victim impact statement read to Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, he said: “I no longer have a life, just a mere existence.”

Trouble flared when Mr Harland went looking for Mark Daniels with an axe after hearing he had threatened to kill him and hurt his brother and nephew.

After he was hit with the car, the judge said, either Mark or Andrew Daniels stabbed him in the leg with a Samurai sword.

“They have totally destroyed my life. Those responsible can still do the simple things in life which I crave.”

Former boxer Kevin Harland

Following a previous trial at Teesside Crown Court, the gang were convicted of attempted murder, but the convictions were quashed at the Court of Appeal.

A retrial was ordered and Brian Letchford, 38, of Lanchester Road, Middlesbrough, Andrew Daniels, 36, and Mark Daniels, 34, both of Bolckow Road, Middlesbrough, and Kevin Dawson, 35, of Tenby Close, Middlesbrough, were again accused of attempted murder, but the charges were withdrawn during the hearing.

Letchford, who admitted driving the white Skoda, had earlier pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and this week the jury found his three co-accused guilty of the same charge.

Andrew Robertson, for Letchford, said he was full of remorse. The former taxi driver was jailed for 13 years.

Graham Silvester, for Andrew Daniels, said his client described it as “a moment of total madness”, while Ian West, for Mark Daniels, said he had grossly overreacted to the threat from Mr Harland.

The brothers were given indeterminate sentences for the protection of the public and told they must serve at least eight years before they will be considered for parole.

Paul Greaney QC, for Kevin Dawson, said his role was subordinate and he had used no violence himself.

He was jailed for eight years for telling Mr Harland where he could find Mark Daniels and doing nothing to stop the attack.

The judge said: “If it was not for the prompt action of others tying tourniquets around his legs, Kevin Harland would have bled to death and you would have been charged with murder.”

Mr Harland said he had lost £120,000 in earnings since the attack as he had been on £1,000-a-week as a thermal heating engineer, but was now claiming £100-a-week in benefits. He was also on medication for depression and had high blood pressure and cholestrol.

His son, now six, was so frightened about seeing his father without legs that he did not speak to him for about a year.

“The persons responsible should not have done what they have done,” he said. “They have totally destroyed my life. Those responsible can still do the simple things in life which I crave.”

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