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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Barrow park gang attack teen jailed

A TEENAGER who battered a police witness in a savage gang attack has been put behind bars.

Liam Kelly appeared in Furness Youth Court on Friday.

The 18-year-old, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to committing an act which harmed a witness following an attack on Dylan Bridge on February 10.

Kelly also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, and a third charge of assault was withdrawn.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told the court Mr Bridge was outside B&M Bargains, in Dalton Road, Barrow, at about 1.30pm with friends.

He was approached by Kelly who told him to wait where he was. Not wanting trouble, Mr Bridge walked away.

Mr Appleby said Kelly then pushed Mr Bridge and punched him in the head six times before walking off laughing.

Mr Bridge was left with a black eye and reported the attack to police.

Kelly was arrested regarding the incident.

On February 10 he spotted Mr Bridge in Barrow Park at around 3pm.

Mr Appleby said: “Kelly came over and called him a grass.

“Mr Bridge understood this as a reference to the previous assault.

“He ignored Liam Kelly, who then said keep walking.

“He carried on walking and was being followed by Liam Kelly and three friends.

“One of the males grabbed Mr Bridge in a headlock and dragged him to the floor, and all four boys started kicking and stamping on him until the park ranger drove past.”

Mr Appleby said the attack lasted around five minutes.

The court was told Kelly had previously been convicted for arson in 2010 and burglary in 2012 and was currently serving a four month youth detention order.

Mr Mike Graham, defending, said: “There is important background that Liam Kelly’s stepfather was in a relationship with a lady who is now in a relationship with Dylan Bridge’s father.

“There were obvious background taunts both ways.”

Mrs Sue Needham, presiding magistrate, said: “Harming a witness is extremely serious.

“If you’d been a matter of days older at the time of this offence you would have been sent to Crown Court.”

Kelly was given an eight month youth detention order to run consecutive to his existing sentence.

The court granted a restraining order banning Kelly from any contact with Dylan Bridge for three years.

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