Appeals turned down after ‘vicious attack’

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Three violent thugs who were locked up after giving a vicious late-night kicking to two friends failed in appeals against their prison sentences today (Friday).

Richard Weston was beaten senseless and brutally kicked in what a crown court judge described as one of the worst affrays he had ever seen.

In October, Dwayne Mears (31), Lewis Downham (25), and Shane Steven Hurst (24), were handed jail terms after earlier admitting affray at Lincoln Crown Court.

Mears, of Sutton Road, Wisbech, got 30 months; Downham, of Railway Lane, Sutton Bridge, got two years and Hurst, of Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, got 21 months.

On Friday, three senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London rejected appeals by the trio and condemned them to complete their sentences.

“It involved kicking with shod feet and punching to the head,” said Mr Justice Burton. “It was at night in the street, unprovoked and by a number of assailants.”

The court heard Downham had been thrown out of a pub and, with the others, confronted Mr Weston and his friend, Dean Bunn, as they walked home in Sutton Bridge, on the night of May 27, 2011.

Downham landed the first blow, punching Mr Bunn, before the others joined in with punches and kicks after he had fallen to the ground.

Mr Weston stepped in to help his friend, but was himself set upon.

He was knocked to the ground and punched and kicked by the gang.

His wife lay across his unconscious, bloodied body to try to stop the attack, which was accompanied, a witness said, by laughing and joking from the trio.

Sentencing the three men, Judge Sean Morris said it was one of the worst affrays he had ever dealt with.

Mr Weston had been lucky to escape with his life and the offenders were lucky not to be facing murder charges.

They appealed on the ground that the sentences were “manifestly excessive”, but Mr Justice Burton, Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Simon rejected the challenges.

Mr Justice Burton said the men were guilty of a “ferocious and brutal” incident and deserved what they got.