Thug called pals for terror attack on family after Carlisle Fireshow
Last updated at 11:44, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
A thug who summoned 20 friends to viciously attack an innocent family as they left Carlisle Fireshow has been jailed.
The brutal attack on the Raffles estate left the father unconscious in a pool of blood, his partner lying in the road with a broken hip, and their 15-year-old son being chased by gang members who threatened to stab him.
A detective who investigated the terrifying mob attack said it was the worst violence he had seen in the area in 20 years.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how the family were attacked after Anthony Queen mistook one of them for his cannabis dealer. When one family member laughed at the mistake, Queen, 22, used his mobile phone to summon his violent pals.
They then launched a ferocious assault, punching, kicking, and stamping on their victims.
Queen, of Sewell Place, Currock, admitted a single charge of affray and was jailed for two years and two months.
Tim Evans, prosecuting, described how on November 5 last year Anthony Armstrong and his partner Louise, their 15-year-old son, Mrs Armstrong’s brother James Kennedy, a 19-year-old family friend, came to Carlisle from Whitehaven to see the Bitts Park Fireshow.
The group was heading back from the display, and walking through the Brookside area of Raffles when Queen approached Mr Armstrong, asking him if he had any cannabis.
Realising the mistake, Mr Kennedy thought the request was funny and laughed, at which point Queen, who had been drinking, tried to punch him, said Mr Evans.
Mr Armstrong, 6ft 5ins tall, intervened, holding Queen off as the defendant punched ineffectively at thin air.
“Mr Armstrong made it clear he wanted no trouble, and that caused the defendant to back away.
“He reached into his pocket for what Mr Armstrong was worried might be a knife but it was a mobile phone.”
Queen told the group they were “dead” and then spoke into the phone, summoning his “reinforcements.”
Soon after, between 12 and 20 men swarmed out of a nearby house, one – an older man – armed with a baseball bat, and began their attack.
Mr Armstrong was hit on the head, and knocked to the ground, where he lay unconscious, his face covered in blood as about six men kicked and punched him.
Mrs Armstrong recalled one of the group chasing her son, threatening to stab him. As both her partner and her brother were attacked, she was hurled to the ground, and left lying in the road, her hip broken, as passing cars drove round her. At one point, as she lay injured, Queen strode over to her, and spat at her.
“She was terrified,” said Mr Evans, who said she pleaded for her son to be spared.
He too was hit over the head with the baseball bat as he tried to protect his mother.
Later that night, she needed emergency surgery on her hip and had to sleep downstairs for three months as she recovered her mobility.
“She has also had nightmares and flashbacks,” said Mr Evans.
The 19-year-old girl with the group was left with a bloody nose.
Keith Thomas, for Queen, said his client had, on the eve of his trial, had the “courage” to plead guilty.
The defendant’s criminal record already includes 22 offences, including one for racially abusing a doctor who was treating him at the Cumberland Infirmary,
Queen had not personally attacked Louise Armstrong, said Mr Thomas.
Passing sentence, Recorder Raymond Herman said the attack was “ferocious,” telling Queen: “You instigated it and took part in it, and you were the cause of this mayhem.”
Detective Constable Mark Singleton said after the case that Queen was an “archetypal thug” who had problems with drink and violence and was well known to the police.
He added: "He showed no remorse in interview and could offer no explanation."
He said the incident was among the worst he had seen in 20 years with the police. Eight other people were arrested but they were not charged, he said.
First published at 11:27, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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