A MAN subjected to a brutal gang attack in his home has hit out after eight people involved were spared jail.
Brian Tweddle, 43, spent four years learning to walk with a prosthetic limb after part of his leg was amputated following a car crash.
But the kneecap on the left leg – vital to his being able to use a false leg – was shattered during an incident in which he tried to break up a fight at his home in Allendale, Northumberland.
Yesterday seven men and one youth who were involved in the assault escaped jail at Newcastle Crown Court.
Mr Tweddle said: “They have all got off lightly, and they’re not sorry for their actions. There’s a chance I’ll have to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”
Mr Tweddle suffered his injuries on June 4, 2011, the day of the annual Allendale Fair, after his son was involved in a fight also involving Kyle Bentley, of Walwick, Humshaugh, and a group of others in the centre of the village.
At 3.30am the next morning, more than 20 people, led by David Fairless, 49, of Allen Lodge, Allendale, turned up at Mr Tweddle’s house at Thornley Gate, Allendale, where he was asleep in bed.
Fairless had heard his son had been involved in a fight and went to Mr Tweddle’s house to find out what had happened, and hadn’t intended any outbreak of violence.
He went along with his two sons and nephew and they were joined by several others.
After letting the group in, Mr Tweddle was attacked. His prosthetic limb came off as he was assaulted by a group who were jumping up and down on the stump.
Before sentencing the group, Judge John Evans said: “All of you should be ashamed of your behaviour. The only thing saving you from prison is the difficulty in identifying the part you each played.”
Fairless, 49, of Allen Lodge, Allendale, who pleaded guilty to affray, was given eight months in jail suspended for two years, ordered to pay £250 in costs and to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
A 17-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons, who admitted using threatening words and behaviour, was made the subject of a 12-month referral order with the Northumberland Youth Offending Service.
Kyle Bentley, who admitted assault in the earlier incident in Allendale, was given a two-month community order and was also subjected to a curfew from 10pm to 6pm for the same time period.
The remaining six others, who pleaded guilty to using threatening words and behaviour, were each given a 12-month community order including 100 hours’ unpaid work and ordered to pay £150 in court costs. They were: Conan Flanagan, 18, of Leazes Lane, Hexham; Edward Bates, 18, of West Land Ends, Haydon Bridge; James MacDonald, 18, of Batey Terrace, Catton; Kyle Rafferty, 21, of Broadacres, Bardon Mill; Robert Ashley Fairless, 22, of Piatoon Farm, Allendale, and Sean Fairless, 19, of Allen Lodge, Allendale.
After the case, Mr Tweddle added: “I was thinking of moving at one point but I’m going to stay, and I’m determined that I will walk again one day.”