Jogger was beaten and robbed by thugs on towpath

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A JOGGER was left with serious injuries after he was attacked and robbed on a canal towpath by two teenagers on cider and the drug M-Cat.

Shriram Gopalakrishman had run past a group of youths near the lock at Thwaite Mill on the Leeds Liverpool Canal on his outward run in Leeds while listening to his iPod but it was on his return that one of them tried to trip him up.

Richard Smith, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court he was then repeatedly kicked and punched to his head and body as he went down on to his knees on the grass by the towpath.

He put his arms around his head as he tried to protect himself and felt his watch pulled from his wrist.

Mr Gopalakrishman’s iPod was also taken and a gold chain was pulled from his neck before he heard a voice saying “it’s over, you can come out”.

He was dazed and bleeding from his face and was pleading to be left alone, but was then punched and kicked to his head and knocked to the ground for the second time, said Mr Smith.

Eventually the violence from Jason Beck and Josh Clough ended and the injured Mr Gopalakrishman began to move away. A cyclist went to his aid and police and an ambulance were called.

He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where he was found to have a broken jaw, a serious wound to his left ear which subsequently required two operations, injuries to his face and head, a suspected fractured rib and broken nose.

Meanwhile Clough had returned home to his grandmother’s and changed from his bloodstained clothes and asked her to wash them, pretending he had been involved in an incident while playing football.

Beck, 19, of Winrose Avenue, Belle Isle, Leeds, was sent to a young offender institution for five years while Clough, 17, of Whitfield Square, Hunslet, Leeds, was ordered to be detained for four and a half years. Both admitted the robbery and Beck asked for 50 other offences to be taken into consideration, mainly of theft.

Jayne Dodson representing them told the court the incident started as a stupid prank when they decided to try to trip the jogger but it spiralled out of control when he complained and in their state on cider and M-Cat they lost their temper and launched a “ferocious” attack.

They both now regretted their actions and were ashamed.

Judge Scott Wolstenholme said: “It was a brutal attack, really sickening violence, he was treated as a punch bag.”