TWO brothers launched terrifying city-centre street attacks which a victim believes was started because of his “goth” appearance.
Shaun Hindmarsh, who has long hair and was wearing a black trenchcoat, believes Nissan worker Neil Douthwaite targeted him purely because of his appearance.
The 20-year old was pushed to the ground before being repeatedly kicked while passers-by pleaded for the violence to stop. When Anthony Hindmarsh stepped in to help his nephew, he too was viciously attacked.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 39-year-old was punched and kicked on the ground before undergraduate Anthony Douthwaite rammed the victim’s face into some shutters.
The uncle needed surgery under anaesthetic to repair a broken cheekbone and is still suffering physical effects from his injuries more than six months on.
Prosecutor Caroline McGurk told the court: “Anthony Hindmarsh had been out drinking with his nephews, one of whom is Shaun. Shaun was wearing a long, black trench coat, a beard and his hair long. He describes himself as having an appearance of a goth. It might be for this reason he was targeted by Neil Douthwaite.
“There were a number of people who got involved to try to calm the situation down, to no avail.”
The brothers, both of Gladstone Street, Roker, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to the uncle. Nissan worker Neil Douthwaite admitted common assault on Shaun Hindmarsh, who suffered pains in his legs for weeks after they were repeatedly kicked.
Both brothers deny the trouble flared because of the nephew’s appearance.
Mr Recorder Kealey said he would not sentence the men on the basis it was a hate crime, but he added: “He has the appearance and describes himself as a goth.
“It had been his opinion, no doubt because there really isn’t any other explanation, that he was attacked because he was a goth.”
The judge said the brothers said nothing during or after the attack that would prove the motive was the nephew’s appearance.
He sentenced Neil Douthwaite, 24, who has a previous conviction for violence, to 20 months behind bars.
Anthony Douthwaite, 27, who has never been in trouble and was not involved in kicking, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work and £1,000 compensation.
The judge said he was spared going straight to jail by the “skin of his teeth”.
Vic Laffey, defending, said Neil Douthwaite feels “great shame” for what he did.
Mr Laffey added: “This was nothing at all to do with the young man’s appearance at all.”
Andrew Rutter, defending the older brother, said the trouble flared after there was “words exchanged” and had nothing to do with anybody’s appearance.