When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Thug, 21, jailed for unprovoked racist attack in Blackburn
AN eyewitness feared one of two brothers targeted in a racist attack in the middle of Blackburn might be killed, a court heard.
Speech therapist Mark Holman was arriving for work in Preston New Road when he saw James Christopher Edwards and a 17-year-old launch an unprovoked attack on Asian brothers Ali and Mustapha Kayani, Preston Crown Court was told.
Drunk and high on the street drug bubble, Edwards and the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked the pair from behind at around 7.30am on June 25 last year.
Edwards and the teenager were seen to stamp on Mustapha and aim full force kicks at him while he was on the ground, while hurling racist abuse at him.
And when the attackers, still swigging from a large bottle of Jack Daniels, had finished, they congratulated each other, the court heard. Holman said: “I feared that he (Mustapha) could be killed because of the kicks to his face.”
He said that he was afraid to intervene during the violence because he thought the young men may turn on him.
Mr Holman also told officer he “felt sick” and was “lost for words” in the aftermath of the attack, the court heard.
“In all my life I have not seen a more violent attack,” he added.
Imposing custodial terms on Edwards and the youth, Judge Simon Newell said: “These are the words of an ordinary member of the public, who was just going about his business.” Edwards, 21, of Glenluce Crescent, Blackburn, who admitted two offences of racially aggravated assault, was jailed for 12 months. The Blackburn youth was given a 12-month detention and training order.
Patrick Ryan, for Edwards, said his client, a father-to-be, had stopped using bubble and significantly reduced his alcohol and cannabis use.
Edwards wass “geniunely remorseful”, the court heard.
Daniel Prowse, for the youth, said his client realised it was a serious offence.
He hoped to put the matter behind him and enrol on an engineering apprenticeship.