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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Disabled Barrow man ‘happy’ as attackers sent to prison

A DISABLED Barrow man has expressed relief after a pair of thugs each received two-year jail sentences for a “despicable” gang attack on him while he lay in bed.

Vulnerable David Greenall was repeatedly punched to the face by five males after they burst into his bedroom at 7am shouting and swearing.

Preston Crown Court heard yesterday how Mathew Croasdell and Daniel Kidd could not remember what happened at Mr Greenall’s flat in Broad Close, Barrow, because they were drunk.

Croasdell, 18, of Schneider Road, Barrow, Kidd, 20, of Ramsgate Crescent, Walney, had both pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and burglary on June 28.

Mr Greenall, 42, told the Evening Mail: “I’m glad and happy they have been sent down, but I was expecting the sentence to be a bit longer.

“If they behave themselves they will be out in a year.”

Prosecutor Harry Pepper explained to the court how five males appeared in the victim’s bedroom, all punching him in the face. They were described as being “gobby and lairy”. All the men were in their late teens to early 20s.

Mr Pepper said: “Mr Greenall had no idea how many times he was hit in the face. His drawers and cupboards were gone through.

“A pot or mug used to store coins was smashed against a wall and the coins scattered. He was taken to hospital with bruising and swelling to his face. When he later gave a statement to police he was scared to go home.

“Blood had been all over his face and police noticed he seemed dazed and disorientated.”

Mr Greenall had been using a Welsh flag as a curtain which, the court heard, may have attracted the drunken gang to his flat. The defendants were linked to the crime by fingerprints found at the scene.

Mr Greenall says he did not sleep for weeks after the attack, and still feels “spooked”.

He said: “I have been feeling a lot better in the past few weeks, and the police have stepped up their presence in the area so that gives me confidence.”

Former chef Mr Greenall has suffered with health problems, including a broken back, which leaves him relying on crutches to get around.

He had a spell in hospital in January after he suffered bleeding on the brain.

Mr Richard Vardon, for Croasdell, said: “He can offer no explanation. He had been drinking huge quantities of alcohol. He describes himself as the most drunk he had ever been in his life.

“He literally says he has no recollection of what went on. This offence was not motivated by malice or spite. It was not triggered as a result of the Welsh flag. He is genuinely and rightfully ashamed for his part in it.”

Mr James Heyworth, defending Kidd, said the offences had been “wholly out of character”.

Judge Simon Newell told the pair as he passed sentence: “This was a despicable offence and you rightly and I hope genuinely have accepted that.”


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