Twelve men jailed for 'vicious' attack which left Cambridge United fan brain damaged

Simon attended the sentencing along with his wife Nicole at Basildon Crown Court.

Twelve out of thirteen men convicted for their part in an attack on a Cambridge United fan two years ago have been sentenced.

Simon Dobbin was knocked unconscious and suffered swelling on the brain following a match between Cambridge and Southend United on March 21, 2015.

Simon was put in an induced coma and spent four months in Addenbrooke’s Hospital followed by and eight months in rehabilitation.

He returned home to Mildenhall in Suffolk in March 2016 but needs 24-hour care and has been left unable to walk or talk.

  • Watch Serena Sandhu's report naming the men convicted, and the sentences they received.

Twelve out of thirteen of the men have been sentenced to a 10 year football banning order. Individually the men have been sentenced to:


  • 25 years old, from Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff.


  • 25 years old, a chef from Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff.

James Woods


  • 29 years old, a painter from Wellington Avenue, Westcliff.

Greg Allen


  • 24 years old, a removals operative from Southchurch Avenue, Southend.

Jamie Chambers


  • 34 years old, a fence installer from Stadium Road, Southend.

Lewis Courtnell


  • 26 years old, unemployed, formerly of Lascelles Gardens, Rochford.

Matthew Petchey


  • 32 years old, a tiler from Belgrave Road, Leigh-on-Sea.

Michael Shawyer


  • 32 years old, an electrician from Hornby Avenue, Westcliff.

Philip McGill


  • 21 years old, a telecommunications engineer from Bridge Road, Wickford.

  • Previously admitted the charge of violent disorder.

  • Sentenced to 16 months.

Rhys Pullen


  • 21 years old, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Ryan Carter


  • 40 years old, a construction worker from Little Spenders, Basildon.

Scott Nicholls


  • 22 years old, a consumer credit employee from Seaforth Avenue, Southend.

Thomas Randall


  • 41 years old, an electrician from Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff.

  • Found guilty of assisting an offender.

  • Due to be sentenced at a later date.

Ian Young

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said after sentencing: “I am aware that some of the defendants’ friends have made comment that Mr Dobbin was ejected from the match and caused problems in the pub. This is absolute nonsense.

He continued: "Let me be clear, Simon Dobbin is a thoroughly decent man. He was not involved in any form of disturbance and was not ejected from the match or any other establishment. He is an entirely innocent victim of an unprovoked savage attack which left him with a permanent and devastating brain injury. My heart goes to Mr Dobbin’s family who have shown immense courage and dignity throughout the investigation and trial. I hope that the sentences issued today help to draw a line under this awful chapter of their lives and they can now concentrate on the future.

“The investigation into what happened that night and bringing those responsible for what happened to him to justice has been complex.

“My team have spoken to well over one hundred witnesses, spent about 500 man hours reviewing CCTV, carried out detailed analysis of mobile phone data and carried out detailed forensic analysis. Despite our best efforts we still don’t know who exactly threw the fateful blows that left Simon with his life-changing injuries.

“Someone, however, does know. And while today we have seen a number of people sentenced in connection with the events of that evening, I still ask anyone who has information to contact us.

“What happened to Simon could have happened to anyone’s husband, father, or son.

“I also hope this tragic case highlights the consequences of football-related violence.

“We know there had been tensions involving a minority of people claiming to be football supporters that day.

“We believe they had been looking for a fight, and this resulted in the attack on Simon and his friends, who were completely innocent and not involved in any previous quarrels or incidents.

“No genuine football fan would ever be involved in, or condone, such acts of such horrific violence.

“This was not fuelled by a passion for the game. It was fuelled by alcohol and thuggery and there is never any justification for such mindless behaviour.”