Attack victim’s lighter terror

Sean Sweeney

Sean Sweeney

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YOB Sean Sweeney thrust a hot cigarette lighter into a teenager’s eye after tying him to a tree in a despicable attack.

The young victim was bound to the tree with a length of rope by a mob of thugs, including 20-year-old Sweeney.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, was first pounced on as he walked down the street in Washington.

As the gang struggled to tie him up, they claimed to be filming the entire incident on a mobile phone camera.

Sweeney then pushed the lighter towards the teen’s face, narrowly missing scalding his eyeball.

Fortunately the terrified youth was able to close his eye before the hot metal made contact and only the eyelid was burned.

The victim was told his horrendous ordeal had been recorded, but the handset used did not actually have a recording facility.

His attackers were due to be tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court this week on charges of false imprisonment, which carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars and assault causing bodily harm, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Before the case started Sean Sweeney, of Stockley Road, Barmston, Shaun Bradburn, 18, of Waskerely Road, Barmston, and a 15-year-old, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to the assault and the more serious charge was dropped.

Bradburn, who has never been in trouble before, and the youth entered their pleas on the basis they played lesser parts than Sweeney, who had the major role in the attack.

The guilty pleas meant the terrified victim did not have to relive his ordeal from the witness box by giving evidence against the trio.

But prosecutor Alec Burns told the court: “The family have moved out of the area because of this.”

Judge John Milford adjourned the case until October for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Sweeney, who is currently serving a four year sentence for stabbing a man in the neck, was remanded in custody.

Sweeney, who is originally from Glasgow, had used a kitchen knife to attack a rival in the earlier assault which resulted in the four year sentence.

The other two were granted bail in the meantime.

Judge Milford told them: “There is no indication of what the final sentence will be.”