Teenager locked up after attack

York Crown Court
York Crown Court
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A TEENAGER from Scarborough has been locked up following a “horrific” attack which left some witnesses fearing his 16-year-old victim was going to be killed.

Zac Rhodes, 19, appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, having pleaded guilty earlier this year on the day he was due to stand trial.

Rhodes, of Queen’s Terrace, had initially denied the attack, claiming that he had volunteered to take the blame on behalf of another but had changed his mind.

Witnesses to a street attack thought the victim was going to die after being repeatedly kicked to the head, face and body.

The attack in the Eastfield area was witnessed by several people who described the attack as “horrific” and “disgusting”, the court was told.

Nicholas Barker, prosecuting, told the court how on June 18 last year, the victim and some friends had been walking back to his home when another group, containing the defendant, started shouting at them.

The youth and his friends carried on and, as they sat on the wall outside his home waiting for a taxi for some of the girls in his group, were then approached by Rhodes and others.

After throwing a “hoodie” over the victim, Rhodes then twice punched him hard on the nose, causing him to fall backwards off the wall to the ground.

Mr Barker said that, as the youth attempted to curl up in a ball to protect himself, he was then repeatedly kicked by Rhodes, being left with two black eyes, a cut lip, a bruised and bloody nose and breathing difficulties.

The court heard that the youth had later reported that he had been left with a fear of going out locally alone, feeling intimidated at meeting people he didn’t know, suffering from lasting breathing problems and had trouble sleeping.

Rhodes, who has previous convictions for offences including common assault, was said to have already experienced custody after several breaches of a suspended sentence.

Andrew Semple, mitigating, said that his client had had a difficult upbringing, both witnessing and being a victim of abuse.

He added that as a result Rhodes had led “something of a feckless life” and then turned to drinking far too much after problems with a relationship prevented him from seeing his child for a time.

Mr Semple said that his client had had a “torrid” time while on remand awaiting sentence, being bullied and left himself with injuries after being assaulted.

He asked that, if Rhodes was to receive a custodial sentence for this current offence, the authorities should be made aware of his vulnerability so that a watch could be kept on him.

Rhodes was sentenced to 40 weeks in a Young Offenders Institute.