Teenagers jailed over street attack

TWO teenagers who were involved in a brutal street attack which left a man brain-damaged have been sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders' institution.

TWO teenagers who were involved in a brutal street attack which left a man brain-damaged have been sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders' institution.

Johnny Callie, 19, and Daniel Taylor, 18, both of Downside Close in Ipswich, heard their fate at the town's crown court yesterday , after being found guilty of violent disorder at an earlier hearing.

And, after hearing the sentence, victim Ned Gemmill and his family told the EADT of their relief that their ordeal was over - and said a strong message had been sent out to those involved in violence.

The horrifying attack happened on June 27 last year, when Mr Gemmill and a group of friends travelled from Clare to Ipswich to celebrate his 21st birthday.

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But the celebrations turned sour when two of their group were involved in a dancefloor incident which saw Callie and Taylor ejected from the Zest nightclub.

A further incident outside the nightclub followed, before the night culminated with a violent attack in Princes Street, which saw Mr Gemmill knocked to the ground and kicked and stamped on by a group of people.

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He was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries and later underwent surgery to remove part of his brain. In all, he spent more than six weeks in hospital, and still faces further surgery in the future.

Yesterday his mother, Jane, said: "I think it's probably quite a fair sentence for what they did and I was amazed how relieved I felt - it's like a full stop to that bit of our lives.

"It's really important that other people see that this is not acceptable behaviour. It's still happening every night and it's very important that the message goes out that it's unacceptable, which this sentence probably shows more than anything.

"People seem to have forgotten that and that's why we see so much violence outside clubs and elsewhere. This proves that if you are involved you will be punished."

Of her son, Mrs Gemmill added: "Ned is realising that there are a lot of things that aren't going to recover, which is perhaps quite hard to face at times. It hasn't changed his personality though."

Mr Gemmill said: "They've got more than I thought they would. I don't think 18 months is too bad at all. I'd been warned they might get two or three months so this is good.

"I think it's fair for what they did and I'm just happy it's all over."

During yesterday's hearing mitigating barristers Simon Spence, for Taylor, and Jude Durr, for Callie, urged Judge David Goodin to spare their clients a custodial sentence, arguing that the incident was a one-off.

Mr Durr said Callie was from a "good home", had no previous convictions and had secured an apprenticeship as a kitchen fitter and plumber.

He added: "His actions on that night are viewed as being wholly out of character. Mr Callie has shown empathy for Mr Gemmill, saying nobody deserves that."

Mr Spence told the court that Taylor was a "hard-working young man" who had the "love and support" of his family.

He added: "Custody would introduce this young man of previous good character to experienced and cynical offenders.

"He would no doubt become familiar with a criminal lifestyle and one can only wonder as to what effect that that would have on him in the future.

"This was a one-off incident that was out of character."

But sentencing the pair, Judge Goodin called the incident a "frightening scene", which could only result in a custodial sentence.

He said: "You are plainly capable of being - and are usually - decent young men but you behaved monstrously, dangerously and violently on that evening.

"It's my duty to punish you."

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