Booze fuelled attackers chased Good Samaritan

Crown court
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Two drunk women who gave a Good Samaritan a kicking in a gang attack, when phones and £150 were snatched from him, have walked free from court.

Carer Claire Steeden, 32, and Mary Wharton, 35, who had been thrown out of a Blackpool bar, had turned on innocent man after he went to the aid of another man being attacked, Burnley Crown Court was told.

He was caught by the group, brought to the ground and attacked

The pair, and others, chased the victim through Blackpool town centre, caught him, floored him, punched him, kicked him and left him unconscious and bloodied.

The early hours violence, last November 26, went on for 15 minutes, the court heard.

After the beating, the victim was also upset and feared leaving the house, going to pubs or nightclubs and being out in the street at night.

Single parent Steeden and Wharton kept their freedom after the judge said Steeden’s children would suffer if she was locked up and he had to treat both defendants the same.

Steeden, of Mulberry Mews , Bispham and Wharton, of Kingsland Grove, South Shore, had each admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and theft.

Steeden, who got a suspended prison term for theft in October 2012 and struck six months after it ended, was given 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, with 160 hours unpaid work.

Her co- defendant received 15 months in custody, suspended for two years, with a four month curfew, between 8pm and 6am. Both women will be supervised by the probation service for two years and must attend the Lancashire Women’s Specified Activity Requirement.

Prosecutor Hugh McKee told the hearing the victim then 24, went to Blackpool to visit relatives and went out drinking. At about 3am, he left the Kaos Bar.

Mr McKee said: “He had had a lot to drink it’s fair to say, although he makes the point he knew what he was doing and he was aware of what was happening around him.”

The prosecutor said there was a commotion on the street and a man was being assaulted. He went to help the man, pulling one assailant away, which might have been Steeden. Mr McKee added: “They began to shout at him, he decided to run away and he was chased by the two defendants and, it has to be said, at least two males as well, who joined in. He was caught by the group, brought to the ground and attacked. He could feel someone going through his pockets and had two mobile phones taken, a bag and £150 in cash.”

The court heard the victim was helped by a police officer and taken to hospital with concerns about a head injury.

Both women were arrested the defendants from descriptions given. Steeden had one of Mr Murray’s phones on her.

Barristers defending both women said they both felt remorse.

Judge Simon Newell said: “It seems to me that the nature, manner and level of violence, the fact it was in drink, in the street in Blackpool, are all aggravating features. It seems by chance rather than design that Mr Murray didn’t have more serious injuries.”