Northumberland dad attacked by mob in front of children after shouting 'idiots' at speeding BMW

Mark Chivers joined in on the attack which was started by his son Brandon Chivers. Credit: NCJ Media

A dad was brutally kicked and punched in a mob attack in front of his children after shouting at a speeding driver.

David Atkinson was walking the dog with his wife and two children, near their home in Northumberland, when he had to pull the youngsters out of the way of a BMW which came around a corner at speed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that when he and his wife shouted "idiots" at the car, it did a U-turn, stopped and the driver, Brandon Chivers, approached the family, shouting and swearing.

Despite his girlfriend trying to pull him back, Chivers asked "what's your f****** problem" before shouting and swearing for two or three minutes during the incident at about pm on 21 August last year.

The court was told that when Mr Atkinson stood up to him and got the better of a physical altercation, a number of others joined in a group attack on him, including Chivers' father, when he arrived on the scene.

'Heard screaming'

The assault in Bedlington Station continued as Mr Atkinson's wife and terrified children, aged seven and nine, screamed and hid behind a telegraph pole, the court heard.

Omar Ahmad, prosecuting, said: "The complainant said he genuinely feared he was about to be assaulted due to the defendant's manner and he pushed the defendant back seven or eight steps."Brandon Chivers grabbed his collar and they fell to the ground, landing near a kerb, with Mr Atkinson on top of the defendant.

"Four males then approached and the complainant was then assaulted by individuals including Brandon Chivers, who kicked and punched him multiple times.

"He was kicked and punched to the face and body in front of his wife and children, who can be heard screaming."

Judge Stephen Earl rebuked the pair at Newcastle Crown Court for not having "any thought" for the victim's wife and children. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

Mark Chivers, the defendant's father, then arrived on the scene and also punched the victim and tried to kick him, the court heard.

However, he then stopped his son and others who had joined in the attack and appeared to apologise to Mr Atkinson.

The victim was left with blood streaming down his face and his eye was swollen shut. He also had numerous cuts to his face and his lower lip was punctured by his tooth.

He needed three stitches to his right eyelid and had cuts to his knees and said he was left with a twitch in his eye when trying to concentrate.

The court was told the victim's wife recognised Mark Chivers from school and he sent her a Facebook message afterwards saying "so sorry, just seen the video, my boy will get a bat in the mouth".

'They are struggling to process it'

In a victim impact statement, written 10 months after the attack, Mr Atkinson said: "It still affects me and my wife and my two young children who witnessed it, and even our dog.

"My children are only now able to talk about what they saw but they are struggling to process it and the dog refuses to go down the street where it happened."

He added that he had nightmares, struggles to sleep, is short-tempered, angry and it's affected his mental health.

Mr Atkinson added: "We live very close to the people who did this to me. In the street, in the shop, I'm always on edge in case I see them and worried about what they might do.

"I can't understand how two people, especially a father and son, can do that in front of people, especially their wife and children. It blows my mind."

Brandon Chivers, 23, who has no previous convictions and Mark Chivers, 45, who has 12 convictions, including for GBH with intent, assault and violent disorder, both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Brandon Chivers to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with a requirement to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

His father was sentenced to 10 months in custody, suspended for 18 months.

The pair, both of Queen's Road, Bedlington Station, were also given a two-year restraining order.

Judge Earl said: "Those two children spent their time hiding with a woman hanging onto them behind a telegraph pole.

"That's quite frightening and neither of you had any thought for those kids, who could see their dad getting kicked and hit into as a result of this."

Shada Mellor, for Brandon Chivers, said Mr Atkinson was getting the better of him at the start and that he acted out of character.Shaun Routledge, for Mark Chivers, said he attended the scene during the incident and reacted after seeing someone involved with his son and punched the victim and aimed kicks which missed.

He added that the groundworker was "full of regret and remorse" and had gone on to act as a peacemaker.

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