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Monday, 14 March 2011 (3012987)
Teens subjected to eight-hour horror attack
by Natasha Young

THREE young thugs who subjected two teenage boys to a terrifying violent and degrading ordeal were put behind bars indefinitely this week.

During an eight hour nightmare experience the two 17-year-olds, who had innocently just gone out to skateboard, were repeatedly attacked, ordered to perform sexual acts on each other, forced into a freezing canal and threatened with death.

They were also driven around for hours and attacked in a speeding car stolen from one of their parents and, after another young man joined in, the victims were alternately ordered into the boot as the joy riding continued.

Threats made to them included being locked in the car and it being set ablaze.

Their captors only fled after the police were called when they were seen driving the car erratically around a field. Three of them were later overheard on a bus bragging about their appalling behaviour.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that as well as their physical injuries the victims have both been left “hugely” emotionally damaged.

The mother of one said in a statement after the hearing, “It is difficult to understand the mindset and values of these offenders and it raises questions to us about a growing culture of feral young men in the city who roam the streets and resort to such mindless violence and cruelty simply for kicks.”

Sentencing Ian Tierney,16, Michael Cattermole, now 17, and Dean Wade, 16, to indeterminate sentences of detention for public protection Judge Henry Globe, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said that they must serve a minimum of four years before they can apply for parole.

But he warned them that unless the Parole Board was satisfied they no longer represent a danger they will stay behind bars indefinitely.

“If you don't change your attitude and ways you may never be released,” said Judge Globe.

The court heard that while on remand awaiting sentence Tierney, who repeatedly fidgeted and laughed in the dock, has faced four disciplinary matters and Cattermole appeared on one.

All three youths and the fourth defendant, John Hughes, 25, a former professional jockey, have previous convictions. Hughes, formerly of Shacklady Road, Kirkby, was jailed for four and a half years.

Judge Globe said that the case involved a “prolonged group attack during which the victims were subjected to a terrifying ordeal of degrading and humiliating physic and mental abuse.”

Ironically the events which led to today's hearing began with the three teenage defendants, who were drinking and smoking cannabis, meeting up outside the crown court and planning to go to Southport to burgle a house and steal a car.

Mandy Patel, prosecuting, told the court that the catalogue of offending started with the trio approaching the two victims while they were skateboarding outside Crosby Library at about 10.30pm on October 19.

They asked where they could find large houses to burgle and cars to steal and when their answers did not suit they became hostile and marched them to the Liverpool-Leeds canal after threatening to stab them.

“One of the defendants filmed part of the incident on his phone. Both victims later stated they felt extremely humiliated by the acts they were made to do.”

They were both ordered into the canal and one was dunked under the water and feared he would drown. The freezing wet boys were taken out and after one suggested he had a bank card at home to get them cash they were taken there, said Miss Patel.

One went in with him and was told he or his mother would be stabbed if her car keys were not handed over. “Meanwhile his friend was forced to get on his hands and knees and eat grass and was threatened.”

The boys were ordered into the rear of the car and it was then driven around Southport, Kirkby and Liverpool, at high speeds and going through red traffic lights, stopping a couple of times to get alcohol.

Along the journey they encountered Hughes, who had also been drinking, and when he got into the car the victims were ordered to take turns in the boot.

“During the whole incident each defendant was violent to the victims, stamping, punching, kicking and head-butting,” she said.

After they finally abandoned the car in Kirkby at about 6am Cattermole, Hughes and Tierney got a bus and were overheard by two 13-year-old girls laughing and joking about their behaviour and they alerted the police.

When Wade got back to the hostel where he was living the manager described him “as buzzing and seemed thrilled to bits. He said he had had the best night of his life and had had a kid in the boot of a car and forgot about him until he heard him shouting and screaming.”

When interviewed the trio eventually admitted their guilt but Hughes, who was living in Norfolk, denied involvement.

Both victims suffered a catalogue of injuries including swollen faces, bruising and bleeding and one had a fractured cheek bone. The court heard they had both been “hugely” affected emotionally. One is now afraid to be alone in his home or to go out alone

Cattermole, Wade, both living in hostels in Garmoyle Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, and Tierney, of Tarbock Road, Speke, all pleaded guilty to 13 charges involving assault, robbery, kidnap, false imprisonment, grievous bodily harm, inciting sexual activity, aggravated vehicle taking and threats to kill.

Hughes pleaded guilty to assault, grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.

Defence barristers said that the men regretted their behaviour and had pleaded guilty. The teenagers had had troubled upbringings and Hughes had gone along with events having seemingly “taken leave of his senses,” said Gerald Baxter, defending.

He had attended the British Racing College at Newmarket and had races as a professional jockey but unfortunately returned to Merseyside for a funeral and made “a catastrophic mistake” in not returning.

Judge Globe awarded the two 13-year-old girls £200 each from public funds for their “excellent public spirited behaviour.”

Following the sentencing, the family of the two victims in this case said: “We would firstly like to make it clear that our sons had no prior association whatsoever with the offenders involved in this crime. This was a random and unprovoked attack on two young men who were innocently out skateborading in their local area. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

”We would like to praise our sons for their dignity, bravery and resilience in coming forward and cooperating with the enquiry. This has been a long and difficult process and it is only now that the recovery can begin.

“It is difficult to understand the mindset and values of these offenders and it raises questions to us about a growing culture of feral young men in our city who roam the streets and resort to such mindless violence and cruelty simply for kicks. The lack of humanity, empathy and remose is appalling. There is no excuse or mitigation for not knowing right from wrong.

”We would like to thank those members of the public who have come forward and assisted with the police enquiry. They have restored our faith in humanity. We would also like to thank Victim Support and Copy Lane CID team; DI Dave Keegan, DS Helen Bennett and DC June Jordan. We know that they too were horrified by the attack. We hope that today's sentence will allow us all to move on and achieve some peace and closure in our lives.“


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