Vigilantes jailed for kettle attack

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

TWO vigilantes who beat up a drug dealer for selling cannabis to a young girl have been handed nine and six month jail sentences after they admitted wounding offences.

The victim was beaten with a kettle – used with such force that the handle broke - and then hit and kicked by his attackers Wayne Coonan and Stephen Clayton.

Coonan, who had armed himself with a lump hammer, and Clayton were both said to be irked about drug dealing taking place at the complainant’s home in Brotton, east Cleveland, and an apparent lack of action by the police.

But The Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said neither man had the right to take the law into their own hands.

The judge said Coonan was “no stranger to violence”, having previous convictions for a stabbing, possession of a firearm and breaking a man’s jaw, and “could not take a high moral standpoint”.

Clayton also had a previous conviction for robbery and had attempted to bite a man’s nose off during a shop theft.

Prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, Sue Jacobs said the attack happened while the complainant had been at home with his partner and their children on the afternoon of January 12 this year.

The woman fled upstairs and called 999 after her exit out of the house was blocked by a laughing Coonan, leaving the victim to bear the brunt of the assault.

Mrs Jacobs said the complainant was punched to the head and hit with a kettle. She said: “[He] fell to his knees and recalls being kicked numerous times by both males.

“It is clear from the 999 call that it was a very distressing incident.”

Clayton, 42, of Wharton Street, Skelton, was arrested and later picked out in an identity parade.

Coonan, 34, of Gladstone Street, Brotton, handed himself into officers and initially gave an alibi, saying he had been in Durham, but mobile phone records disproved this.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said: “He understood the victim had sold drugs to a young girl and it seems that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Meanwhile, Clayton was described as a vulnerable individual who suffered from high levels of anxiety and stress.

Judge Bourne-Arton gave Coonan a nine month jail term, while Clayton received a six month prison sentence.

Comments (6)

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5:32pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

The problem here is clear. If you wish to beat someone up (especially a criminal in Cleveland) and get away with it - you must join the police force first. Then you can, given the reputation of the force do it to your heart's content in the cells - or get a transfer to the Met and then you can do it in the open.
The problem here is clear. If you wish to beat someone up (especially a criminal in Cleveland) and get away with it - you must join the police force first. Then you can, given the reputation of the force do it to your heart's content in the cells - or get a transfer to the Met and then you can do it in the open. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -1

7:05pm Mon 11 Aug 14

NO EINSTEIN says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
The problem here is clear. If you wish to beat someone up (especially a criminal in Cleveland) and get away with it - you must join the police force first. Then you can, given the reputation of the force do it to your heart's content in the cells - or get a transfer to the Met and then you can do it in the open.
VOR, you are a naughty man, but its true, in Cleveland if your top ranking you can get away with most things, to which those top coppers don't get to being at the top without doing a few legs, sadly there like the Black Widow, and they do there own lot to get up there, thats how its done in that force. As for the Met, i won't lie you do get the odd bad egg, but as a rule with them its you against the public, where as in Cleveland its you against the public, and your superiors, its a lot differant culture there. Any way i'm going off the point here, but what i will say is, child **** people, multable burglars, rapists, get big fines and comunity orders. People that stand up to scum and say enough is enough, get 9 and 6 month jail sentances, absalutly disgusting, but it is Teesside crown court where burglars are called brave.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: The problem here is clear. If you wish to beat someone up (especially a criminal in Cleveland) and get away with it - you must join the police force first. Then you can, given the reputation of the force do it to your heart's content in the cells - or get a transfer to the Met and then you can do it in the open.[/p][/quote]VOR, you are a naughty man, but its true, in Cleveland if your top ranking you can get away with most things, to which those top coppers don't get to being at the top without doing a few legs, sadly there like the Black Widow, and they do there own lot to get up there, thats how its done in that force. As for the Met, i won't lie you do get the odd bad egg, but as a rule with them its you against the public, where as in Cleveland its you against the public, and your superiors, its a lot differant culture there. Any way i'm going off the point here, but what i will say is, child **** people, multable burglars, rapists, get big fines and comunity orders. People that stand up to scum and say enough is enough, get 9 and 6 month jail sentances, absalutly disgusting, but it is Teesside crown court where burglars are called brave. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: 8

8:03pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Ah yes - Bowles - he should have been pensioned off (with no pension).
Ah yes - Bowles - he should have been pensioned off (with no pension). Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 1

10:29pm Mon 11 Aug 14

hasanopinion says...

next time take the dirty scum bag drug dealer somewhere where there are no whitnesses and make sure he never deals again! Streets could do with being "cleaned up" take out the trash that is drug dealers pedophiles and rapists. Oh if only.....
next time take the dirty scum bag drug dealer somewhere where there are no whitnesses and make sure he never deals again! Streets could do with being "cleaned up" take out the trash that is drug dealers pedophiles and rapists. Oh if only..... hasanopinion
  • Score: 6

11:42am Tue 12 Aug 14

crackoneoff says...

Although I hate drug dealers those 2 men were a right couple of nasty **** that also needed taken off the streets.
I get sick and tired off scum like this who think that what they do is somewhat heroic.
Although I hate drug dealers those 2 men were a right couple of nasty **** that also needed taken off the streets. I get sick and tired off scum like this who think that what they do is somewhat heroic. crackoneoff
  • Score: 8

8:07pm Fri 22 Aug 14

NOTODDEN says...

crackoneoff wrote:
Although I hate drug dealers those 2 men were a right couple of nasty **** that also needed taken off the streets.
I get sick and tired off scum like this who think that what they do is somewhat heroic.
Right on the nail - well said
[quote][p][bold]crackoneoff[/bold] wrote: Although I hate drug dealers those 2 men were a right couple of nasty **** that also needed taken off the streets. I get sick and tired off scum like this who think that what they do is somewhat heroic.[/p][/quote]Right on the nail - well said NOTODDEN
  • Score: 0

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