A THUG who left a teenager fighting for life after a ‘senseless and unprovoked’ attack has been jailed for nine years.

Heroin addict Keiron Chatburn, 30, and his friend Stuart Hartley, 26, who was jailed for 15 months, carried out a ‘devastating assault’ on 15-year-old Gino Hargreaves.

The level of violence - graphically brought home by a picture police released of Gino lying in a coma - shocked Blackburn.

At Preston Crown Court yesterday Chatburn, of Hamlet Close, Blackburn, who has 50 previous convictions, was jailed for nine years after earlier being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He delivered a heavy kick to Witton Park pupil’s head as he lay unconscious on the ground.

Hartley, of St Thomas Street, Blackburn, who had 20 previous convictions, was sent to prison for 15 months after pleading guilty to wounding. He admitted punching Gino on the back of the head.

Judge Pamela Badley told the pair the attack has had ‘devastating’ consequences for Gino.

He has had to give up on dreams of becoming a firefighter after being left with memory problems, partial paralysis down his right side, double vision and problems with his speech.

Gino, of Sandon Street, Blackburn, cannot remember the attack, and Hartley and Chatburn told the court Gino had thrown a microwave at the pair which sparked the incident.

But, speaking after the sentencing, Gino's grandfather Duncan Campbell said: “At the end of the day we don't really know that Gino threw anything at them because he can't remember the attack. We only have their statements, so as far as I am concerned it was an unprovoked attack.”

Mr Campbell, who was in court with Gino's grandmother and brother, said Hartley's sentence should have been longer.

He said: "I think the sentence handed to Keiron Chatburn is fair and reasonable, but 15 months for Stuart Hartley is unrealistic. It should have been at least three years.”

After the case, Detective Inspector Pete Broome agreed that it had been a ‘completely unprovoked and senseless attack‘.

He said: “I am pleased with the result and hope that it will allow Gino and his family to finally move forward with their lives.

"I would once again like to pay tribute to Gino' s strength of character. He has shown immense courage and determination throughout this investigation and this should be commended.”

Gino was on his way home from an organised underage night at Liquid and Envy in the town centre when he came across the defendants in Hancock Street, Bank Top, last October 30. He was found lying in the street by police.

Gino had to be put into a medically-induced coma for eight days as his body battled to recover from the brain haemorrhage he sustained in the attack.

The teenager, now 16, was in hospital for two months.

Peter Warne, defending, said Chatburn had shown ‘genuine remorse’.

Kevin Talbot, defending, said while on remand Hartley had successfully completed alcohol awareness and anger management course.

Judge Badley told Chatburn: "You have been convicted of one of the most grave offences. You acted towards him with intent to do him serious harm."