Date published: 23 August 2009
Victim of assault by Leon Spencer, Jamie McLennan and Johnathan Taylor
A vicious gang of men who laughed as they brutally kicked and punched their victim while he lay defenceless on the ground have been sentenced.
The trio battered the victim so ferociously he was unable to open his eyes for several hours due to the severe bruising and thought he had been blinded.
The men responsible have been given custodial sentences totalling over five years.
Leon Spencer (born 31/05/1988) of Count Street, Rochdale, Jamie McLennan (born 13/11/1989) of Prince Street, Turf Hill, Rochdale and Jonathan Taylor (born 12/02/1985) of Franklin Street, Turf Hill, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to assault at an earlier hearing.
On Friday 21 August 2009 McLennan was sentenced to 32 months in a young offenders institute, while Spencer and Taylor were both jailed for 16 months.
At about 3am on Saturday 15 March 2008, the 22-year-old victim and his brother were walking home from a night out when they were approached by the trio at the junction of Woodbine Street and Oldham Road.
They were drunk and aggressive and clearly spoiling for a fight. They circled the brothers so they could not escape and demanded money and cigarettes. When the victim said he did not have any, McLennan punched him to the floor, dragged him by the hair and kicked him repeatedly in the face.
Taylor and Spencer then joined in, brutally kicking him to the face and body, as he lay defenceless on the ground. They were also heard laughing as the assault continued.
The victim's brother tried to intervene but was chased off. When he returned, he found his brother staggering around the street.
He was taken to hospital and treated for a smashed eye socket, a broken nose, a badly broken wrist, chipped teeth and blood clots behind his eye and ear.
CCTV footage appears to show Taylor slapping Spencer on the back to 'celebrate a job well done'. Taylor was seen wearing a Manchester United shirt and tracksuit bottoms. His clothing was seized from his house after his arrest and a forensic examination revealed spots of the victim's blood.
Detective Constable Sam Halligan, based at Rochdale CID, said: "Make no mistake about it, these three men are committed one of the most appalling assaults I have ever seen.
"They went out that night with the sole intention of getting drunk and having a fight, and unfortunately for the victim he happened to be in their line of fire. The injuries he sustained are shocking and in all honesty, it was a miracle he was not killed. He was given such a good beating that he could not even open his eyes for several hours."