1. ITV Report

Five jailed for over 25 years for ‘horrific’ Doncaster attack

Five men have today been jailed for their part in a ‘savage and violent’ attack, which left a man fighting for his life.

Allen Tunney, 36, Benjamin Varey, 31, Edward Riley, 37, Tyler Cunningham, 22, and Paul Pannett, 21, chased the victim into a convenience store in the Stainforth area on the evening of 11 July last year, before launching a horrific attack on him.

Top row L-R: Tunney, Varey. Bottom row L-R: Pannett, Riley and Cunningham Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The attack, initiated by Varey who was carrying a knife, left the man in his 30s bleeding heavily, with severe slash wounds to his back and neck, and defensive wounds to his arms.

He suffered significant blood loss and had to be rushed to hospital via air ambulance.

The five men, who appeared before Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing (Thursday 7 March), were quickly identified from CCTV footage and four were brought into custody just days later.

Tunney however, fled the country in a bid to avoid arrest and officers from Doncaster’s Fortify team led the search for him, as Detective Sergeant Lee Wilson explains.

Tunney and the other four men displayed inexplicable levels of violence, chasing the victim into the store and savagely attacking him - and so a manhunt was launched to ensure Tunney was brought into custody at the earliest opportunity.

“Through working alongside the National Crime Agency and the Spanish Authorities, we found that Tunney had been staying on a campsite in Benidorm. He was subsequently arrested on a European Arrest Warrant and extradited back to the UK and brought into custody at Doncaster.”

– Detective Sergeant Lee Wilson

Varey, Tunney, Riley and Pannett entered guilty pleas to section 18 assault, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, at an earlier hearing and have been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing. Cunningham entered a guilty plea to affray.

  • Varey, of East Lane, Doncaster, was jailed for nine years.
  • Tunney, of Stocksbridge Lane, Bentley, was jailed for six years.
  • Cunningham, of Saint Michaels Drive, Thorne, was jailed for 20-months for affray and a further 12-months for a separate theft offence, totalling 32-months.
  • Riley, of East lane, Doncaster, was jailed for six years.
  • Pannett, of Kirkhouse Green Road, Doncaster, was jailed for five years. Pannett was also handed an 18 month sentence for a separate offence of affray, to run alongside his five year sentence.

DS Wilson added:

This was a horrific attack which left the victim hospitalised and fighting for his life for a number of weeks.

“Although Varey was the one carrying the knife, all of the men played a part in the attack, which was witnessed by other people who have no doubt been left traumatised by what they saw.

“Tunney also clearly thought he was above the law, and would not face the consequences for what he did and his violent actions that evening. I’m pleased that we were able to trace him in Spain, bring him back before the courts and that all five men have now been jailed.”

– Detective Sergeant Lee Wilson