Clitheroe victim’s anger over 16-year-old attacker’s ‘soft sentence’

Andrew's injuries
Andrew's injuries

A CLITHEROE man who was a victim of a vicious and unprovoked attack has slammed the “soft sentence” handed down to the teen who attacked him.

Andrew Blackledge suffered a broken cheekbone and a cut needing four stitches above his eye after he was punched several times while waiting for a pizza at a takeaway in Wellgate, Clitheroe.

Andrew, an accountant for Lancashire County Council, said the incident, which took place just before midnight last September, had left an “everlasting nightmare”.

The 33-year-old said the court’s decision not to jail the 16-year-old attacker did not match the severity of the crime. The teenage defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, initially denied the offence and was due to face trial at Blackburn Youth Court. However, it is understood that, following a review of the takeaway’s CCTV footage, he admitted a charge of causing actual bodily harm.

He was handed a nine-month referral order and told to pay £120 court costs and £400 compensation.

In this week’s Clitheroe Advertiser & Times, Andrew, a former pupil of Ribblesdale High School Technology College, recalls the evening of the horror attack. “Even after six months, it’s difficult for me to speak about the attack and I have been traumatised,” he said. “I haven’t been able to sleep and I’ve been very frightened when alone in the house.

“Though I appreciate he is only 16, I was informed he is from a respectable family and may not have been in trouble before with the police.

“My family and I have gone through a horrendous time. In a few months time the attacker will have forgotten about the whole incident, whereas I’ve got to live with this for the rest of my life.”