Robbers ‘who acted like wild animals’ left man unrecognisable

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A GANG of robbers punched and kicked a man unconscious leaving his face “unrecognisable” after targeting him as he walked from a car park on the riverside in York.

Sentencing five defendants at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, Recorder Tony Hawks said they were “like a group of wild animals” when they set on John Adamson on August 2 last year.

He was repeatedly punched and kicked and then on the ground his head was stamped on. His jaw was smashed and had to be operated on. He was left with titanium plates in his face.

A witness who had found him and summoned help described his face that night as unrecognisable.

Recorder Hawks said three of those involved had already robbed two other men days earlier after lying in wait for suitable targets.

“They were punched, they were kicked, a metal pipe was used to strike one of the victims over the head and to the legs.”

“These offences were despicable, dangerous and disgusting. It goes without saying in all your cases anything other than significant sentences of custody cannot be justified.”

Ashley Neil Horsewood, 21, of no fixed address, who admitted all three robberies and was described as the ringleader, was jailed for six years eight months.

Gavin Freed, 23 then of Main Avenue, Tang Hall, York, also admitted all three robberies and was jailed for six years.

Josh Cammidge, 18, of no fixed address, was sent to a young offender institution for five years three months after he was convicted by a jury of the three robberies.

John Paul Michael Collier, 25, of Sunny New Crescent, Huddersfield, was jailed for four years six months after he was found guilty by the jury of robbing Mr Adamson.

Nathan Christopher David Lacey, 19, of Hull Road, Huntington, York, was sent to a young offender institution for three and a half years after admitting robbing Mr Adamson.

Simon Kealey, prosecuting, said the first victims were Melik Cinar and Chris Kennard who were attacked on July 31 as they walked home from York Railway Station along a path beside the River Ouse.

David Dixon, representing Horsewood, said he would take issue “that he was calling the shots” but accepted their behaviour was unacceptable and he wished to apologise for their “disgraceful” conduct.