Girl saw gang ‘kicking and punching’ brother in attack outside Sunderland school

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A SCHOOLGIRL watched in horror as her teenage brother was punched and kicked in a savage gang attack.

Sunderland magistrates were told how the victim was chased by at least 10 youths, including a 6ft tall 15-year-old fellow pupil, and knocked to the ground before being battered almost unconscious.

Yesterday, his sister told a hearing how she witnessed the yobs surround her terrified brother in a snowy city street last winter.

Left with head injuries in the assault, he was rushed to hospital after “slipping in and out of consciousness”.

Speaking via a video link, she said: “They were kicking and punching him.

“I saw him on the ground. I saw ice thrown off his head.”

Earlier, Sunderland Youth Court heard how trouble flared after a dispute arising from a snowball fight.

None of those involved can be named for legal reasons.

A Year 10 student said he laid across his friend to protect him as he was attacked outside his school by between 10 and 15 other pupils.

Three pals, including the teenager giving evidence and the victim, became involved after seeing a friend being set upon by the gang.

However, defence solicitors claimed the young witness was mistaken about seeing his pal being kicked before he intervened.

Nine teenagers have admitted their parts in the incident on December 10 and are due to appear back at the same court for sentencing tomorrow.

Three 15-year-olds were due to stand trial, but a Newton hearing – where the charge is admitted, but the facts which could affect sentencing are disputed – was opened after they entered guilty pleas on a basis.

District judge Roger Elsey said yesterday there was a lack of evidence that the trio stamped on the victim’s head, and that the allegation would not be taken into account when they were handed their punishments for affray.

“This is clearly a fast moving, frightening and upsetting incident,” he added.

“It is clearly an example, in my opinion, of a group behaving in a way in which they would not behave as individuals.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho