Man jailed after teens targeted in South Shields gang attack

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A teenager was attacked by an armed gang who singled him out because of his clothes as he walked home from a town centre day out.

The 15-year-old was leaving South Shields with male and female friends when a passing group started making comments about what he was wearing.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the schoolboy stopped to ask why he was being verbally abused, he was subjected to brutal violence that left him bruised

and bleeding.

When the victim’s 16-year-old friend stepped in to try and stop the violence, he too was attacked.

At Newcastle Crown Court Colin Dunn, 20, of Westmorland Road, South Shields, was jailed for 10 months for his part in the violence.

Judge Robert Adams told him: “The victim was set upon by yourself and a number of others. He was repeatedly punched to the face and body and also kicked.

“When the second victim tried to assist his friend, he was also punched by you.

“The location of the offence was in the town centre, in broad daylight.”

The court heard Dunn, who admitted assault and common assault, has previous convictions for 38 offences, including robbery conspiracy and violence and has been assessed as posing a high risk of harm to the public.

He told police he had just a vague recollection of the violence he got involved in but said the victims must have done something to make him behave like that as it “wasn’t in his nature” to assault people for no reason.

The court heard one of the attackers had been armed with a knuckle duster but it remains unclear who.

A teen has already been dealt with by the youth court for his part in the attack.

Proscutor Lee Fish told the court the victims had been heading home from the town center day out in April when the “derogatory comments” were made.

Mr Fish said; “The complainant did not know anyone within the group and describes derogatory comments being made towards him in relation to his clothing.

“This went on for some time.”

The court heard when the victim asked the group why he had become a target, he was pushed by Dunn and the violence started.

Mr Fish added; “He was repeatedly punched to the face and around his body and he was also kicked.

“A second youth came to the aid of his friend and was punched by this defendant.”

The court heard the main victim had cuts to his face, two black eyes, swelling and a nose injury.

The friend to tried to help him suffered swelling.

In a victim impact statement, the main victim said: “I was very frightened during this.”

His friend said: “This incident was unprovoked and violent.

“My friends and I did nothing wrong and were not out looking for any trouble.”

Vic Laffey, defending, said time behind bars will create an opportunity for Dunn to deal with his alcohol abuse.