Eight thugs who split boy's head open with machete dodge jail (2024)

Eight teenagers who brutally attacked another teen with a machete, axe and a golf club have been handed community sentences.

Tom Hilton, who was 17 at the time of the attack, suffered a head injury so serious his skull was exposed, and wounds to his shoulders and legs in the attack close to the Old Paper Mill in Hermitage Street, Rishton, in August 2021, reports LancsLive.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Hilton had gone to the mill - a popular meeting place for local teens - to look for a teenage girl.

However, as he arrived he was chased by a group of boys he later described as "like a pack of gorillas."

He ran through the woods and onto the road, where the gang caught up with him, the court heard.

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At the time, around 50 young people were in the area, and as the gang of eight surrounded Mr Hilton, each either attacked him directly with weapons or fists or encouraged the others. Judge Philip Parry said they acted together.

Throughout a trial at Preston Crown Court, all eight laughed and joked in a way the judge said showed disrespect.

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He said: "I have to have at the forefront of my mind the fact that most of you were children when you committed these offences.

"I make it very, very clear that all eight of you have behaved disgracefully, in relation to the violent disorder but also intimidation of witnesses, supply of class A drugs and street robbery. You should all eight be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves but I am not at all convinced you are.

"Many of you have found these proceedings amusing throughout the trial and yesterday and today, showing disrespect to the court. I hope for the sake of all your families, the public and the people who have offered you jobs and apprenticeships and the sort that you all grow up. Every one of you deserves to be sent to youth detention.

"Some of you played a more active role in the violent disorder than others, some of you carried weapons, some wore balaclavas but the seriousness of this is the group nature of it. As a group you were all more threatening than you would have been as individuals."

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The judge said if the group had been convicted of the more serious charge of section 18 wounding, they would all have gone to youth custody.

However, he said he took a rehabilitative approach when sentencing them for violent disorder and further offences including witness intimidation, attempted robbery and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

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He told them: "Today is going to be a life changing or life defining event for you all. You all have a chance to go into a lawful and law abiding direction. I can almost feel the sense of relief from your families and supporters in the public gallery who all expected you to go to custody today. As I said earlier, you all richly deserve to."

The sentences are as follows:

  • Danny Yakub, 18, of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood - 18 month community order with 25 days rehabilitation activities and 180 hours of unpaid work.

  • Connor Armstrong, 19, of Christ Church Street, Accrington - two year community order with 35 days rehabilitation activities and 200 hours of unpaid work.

  • James Meagre, 18, of Tinker Brook Close, Oswaldtwistle - two year community order with 25 days rehabilitation activities and 200 hours unpaid work.

  • Davis Hargreaves, 18, of Plantation Road, Accrington - two year community order with 35 days rehabilitation activity requirements and 200 hours unpaid work.

  • Kane Taylor, 20, of Ripon Road, Accrington, was given an 18 month community order with 25 days rehabilitation activities and 150 hours unpaid work

  • Jay Slater, 18, of Fountains Way, Accrington - 18 month community order with 25 days rehabilitation activities and 150 hours unpaid work.

  • A 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons - 18 month youth referral order with 18 months supervision, 91 activity days a four month curfew and an intervention plan.

  • A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons - 18 month youth referral order with 18 months supervision, 91 activity days a three month curfew and an intervention plan.

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