Teens attacked homeless man in Truro like 'pack of wild animals'

Credit: BPM Media

Two 15-year-olds have been sentenced after a group of youths attacked a homeless “like a pack of wild animals”.

Cornwall Youth Court heard rough sleeper Mark Webb was punched, kicked and stamped on during the frenzied attack inside Truro’s Moorfield car park on 12 February last year. He also had a bottle smashed over his head.

Disturbing footage of the attack was uploaded to Snapchat before it was then reported to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Yesterday (11 January), two teenage boys were sentenced for their role in the attack.

One 15-year-old boy, known as Defendant 1, was found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm following a trial. A second 15-year-old boy, known as Defendant 2, pleaded guilty on the day of the joint trial.

Both defendants, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were 14 at the time of the attack.

At the sentencing hearing, District Judge Joanna Matson said Defendant 1 kicked Mr Webb and stamped on him during the attack while Defendant 2 smashed a bottle over his head.

Defendant 2 has no previous convictions, whereas Defendant 1 does for less serious offences.

The victim did not cooperate with police, meaning they relied on social media footage to investigate the case.

Mark Webber was subject to the group attack that saw him punched and kicked by the teens. Credit: BPM Media

'He could have been killed'

Judge Matson said: "Mr Webb was a homeless man and was set upon by a group of youths in a public car park.

“This is an incredibly serious matter and was a vicious attack on a homeless man. It involved kicking to the head with significant force. He could have been killed.

“I see lots of horrible things but this to me was sickening. You were like a pack of wild animals attacking a defenceless man.

“Defendant 2 you had been drinking alcohol and said you joined in because you were worried what others in the group would think. You have been very mature in your reflection of this incident and have made huge changes to your life.

“I note you wish to apologise to Mr Webb and have suggested you carry out work in the homeless community. You have done voluntary work with your neighbour, have changed your friends and are helpful around the house. You have stopped drinking alcohol and have not offended since.”

Moving onto Defendant 1, Judge Matson said: “You clearly kicked and stamped on Mark Webb. I note this has had a significant impact on your mental health. There have been feelings of shame and you are sorry for the impact this has had on Mr Webb.

“You have also removed yourself from your friends and your mum says you’re a completely different person. You have been out of trouble for a long period and have started employment."

Defendant 1 was given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order and is required to take part in reparation activity. He was not made the subject of a curfew as he had been under one previously.

Defendant 2 was given a 12-month youth referral order.

Both defendants were ordered to each pay costs of £100 and a £22 victim surcharge.

Judge Matson told the teenagers they were lucky to avoid custody.

A 17-year-old from Camborne previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a youth referral order for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

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