A 22-YEAR-OLD Slovakian has been jailed for 16 years for his part in a brutal gang attack on a retired roofer in Bradford.
Keith Alder, 66, suffered catastrophic injuries after being ferociously kicked and hit with a baseball bat as he walked home from a charity event at his local club in October 2011.
Mr Alder suffered fractures to his face and skull in the late-night attack, but as his condition deteriorated he had to have surgery to remove his small bowel and complications with blood clots led to the decision to amputate both his legs above the knee.
In April last year Bartolomej Makula, a 34-year-old Slovakian, of Southfield Lane, Bradford, was jailed for 15 years after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Alder with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.
Yesterday his nephew Ladislav Balaz, of Scott Street, Keighley, was also found guilty, following a trial, of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Alder.
The jury at Bradford Crown Court cleared Balaz on a separate charge of possessing a baseball bat.
Members of Mr Alder’s family including his wife were at court to hear prosecutor Sophie Drake outlined details of the devastating impact of the attack.
She said Mr Alder had been described by his wife as “a gentle giant” who was very popular in his local area.
Miss Drake said the couple had planned to downsize after selling their home and use the money to go on cruises in their retirement.
“But of course that didn’t happen... they had to move into a specially-adapted house to meet Mr Alder’s needs,” said Miss Drake.
The court heard that Mr Alder had spent several months in hospital following the attack and had to undergo numerous operations.
Jailing Balaz Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said witnesses described a disturbance in the Great Horton Road area that night, but he said tragically and coincidentally Balaz’s group were last seen close the club.
He said Mr Alder became aware of a gang, some armed with baseball bats, racing towards him.
“Whatever emotion was in your hearts you targeted that poor gentleman who ran for his life... that is not an emotive comment and anybody who suggests it is would be completely wrong,” said the judge.
The court heard that Mr Alder got within feet of his front door before being set upon by the gang.
“The consequences for Mr Alder have been almost indescribably catastrophic,” said the judge.
Judge Durham Hall said the attack had ruined Mr Alder’s remaining life and had severely impacted on the lives of his family.