Court: Man lashed 'Good Samaritan' brothers with dog chain in Harrogate attack

Wayne Campbell . Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).
Wayne Campbell . Picture: North Yorkshire Police (s).

A thug lashed two “Good Samaritan” brothers with a dog chain and beat them relentlessly for the sole reason that they had tried to help a homeless man, a court heard.

Wayne Campbell, 38, was one of a gang of five men who set upon brothers Mark and Paul Crocker in Harrogate town centre after the siblings offered food and shelter to the man.

Campbell and his friend Cieran Anthony Bamford, 26, led the charge and pursued the brothers down the street, striking them with mighty blows as the petrified victims tried to get away, York Crown Court was told.

At one stage during the violence, Bamford picked up a dog chain which had been left on the ground and handed it to Campbell, who began whipping the brothers with the weapon, said prosecutor Andrew Semple.

Mark Crocker, the younger brother, was punched repeatedly by Bamford as he chased the victim down the street.

Paul Crocker was punched to the floor as Campbell, waving the dog chain, ran at Mark Crocker. Campbell then struck the brothers with the chain at least six times.

Mr Semple said the brothers were covered in blood as the thugs fled. They called an ambulance and were taken to Harrogate hospital where Mark was treated for a cut to the back of his head which required six staples, and a gash to his ribs, which were giving him extreme pain. Paul suffered a cut to his nose, a black eye and minor facial and leg injuries, said Mr Semple.

Campbell, of Ashfield Road, Harrogate, appeared for sentence via video link after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, possessing an offensive weapon and failing to surrender to court custody on two occasions following his arrest.

Mr Semple said theincident occurred on July 1, 2016 when the brothers, who were new to the area and had gone into town for a drink, were set upon by the baying mob of drunks as they offered succour to the homeless man, who was sat in a shop doorway near the McDonald’s restaurant.

“Paul Crocker approached the homeless man and invited him to a caravan they had at their house rather than sleeping rough, and offered him some food,” added the barrister. The

Crockers were suddenly approached by five males who seemed to have an issue by the fact that (the brothers) were talking to this homeless man.”

Campbell was arrested but claimed he couldn’t remember any of the incident because he was so drunk.

Campbell had previous convictions for violence and his record dated back to his teens when he had a spell in a young-offenders’ institution for wounding offences.

Campbell represented himself in court, telling judge Paul Batty QC that he wished to apologise to the two men he had hurt.

“It’s horrible; I messed up,” he added.

Judge Paul Batty QC described the incident as a “cowardly attack upon two defenceless brothers who were acting as Good Samaritans. They saw a helpless man who was destitute; they offered him food and accommodation… and they are to be applauded for their Christian charity, which contrasts starkly with the behaviour of you and your drunken friends,” added Mr Batty.

Campbell was jailed for two years and two months.

In October last year, Campbell’s co-accused Cieran Anthony Bamford was jailed for nine months for his part in the violence.