A THUG who targeted two strangers in a racist attack in Orford leaving one of the victims unconscious and in desperate need of hospital treatment is now behind bars.
Ryan Swindells, aged 20, of East Avenue, Orford, was handed a three year sentence after pleading guilty to a section 20 assault and affray.
The court heard how two men of Iraqi-Kurd origin were walking along Orford Lane on April 4 at 6.40pm when they heard shouting and swearing from a group of men on the other side of the road.
One of the men – later identified as Swindells – could be heard shouting racist abuse and crossed the road to approach the two men.
Prosecuting Paulinus Barnes said: “One of the victims thought if he was nice to him he would walk away but the other males were encouraging him.
“He then put his head towards one of the victims in a threatening manner.”
A fight broke out with at least four others getting involved in the street brawl.
At one point CCTV showed three men kicking one of the victims while on the floor.
One of the victims later lost consciousness and had to be put in the recovery position by a member of the public – his face covered in blood from the attack.
The victim was taken to Aintree Hospital where he was treated for head injuries and a fractured collar bone.
Defending Swindells, David James said both the defendant, who has struggled with binge drinking and a cocaine habit, and the victims were ‘giving as good as they can get’ during the fight.
He added: “Having spoken to this young man this is not a man who is proud of his actions.
“He is embarrassed by them and he is disappointed he is in court again.
“He is deeply ashamed he has used racist terms as he does not feel he is an ingrained racist.”
Swindells has a number of previous convictions – one racially aggravated.
Declan Jenks, aged 21, of Alder Lane, and Joshua Williamson, aged 21, of Marsh House Lane, were also sentenced at Warrington Crown Court on Friday for their involvement in the brawl.
Jenks was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after admitting a section 20 assault, affray and breach of a suspended sentence.
Williamson pleaded guilty to affray and must carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, 35 days of rehabilitation activity and a thinking skills programme.
The court heard how Jenks, who has a previous convictions for drunk and disorderly and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, originally became involved in the fight to break it up.
Defending Jenks, John Banasko, said: “Unfortunately initially he had good intentions effectively to assist Mr Swindells as he was originally in the minority but he did become involved and he did throw punches.”
He added that he was not involved in the racist abuse and did not kick the victims.
Williamson, who has a previous conviction for a public order offence in 2014, did not throw any punches and was not involved in the racist abuse but chased one of the victims up the street.
Defending Williamson, Michael Whitty said apart from one previous conviction, the defendant’s behaviour was ‘out of character’.
He said: “He is a young man and he clearly has ideas about what he wants to do during his life.
“When it is the right time he wants to join the marines. He has ideas for his life that does not involve coming back to court.”
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Woodward said this would have been a ‘disturbing incident’ for members of the public to witness.
He added: “It started with Swindells making racist comment towards them for no apparent reason.
“Not content with that you [Swindells] then came over from the opposite side of the road towards them and they were trying to diffuse the situation but you were clearly looking for a fight.
“In a macho way you put your head towards his showing aggression.
“When they did not respond you started to punch out.”
THE MUM of Lee Swindells was forced to apologise to a judge after lashing out as her son was led down to the cells.
Judge Nicholas Woodward ordered for Lynn Swindells to be detained by a police officer after she refused to be silent during the sentencing of her son.
While Ms Swindells could have faced proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act following her verbal outburst the judge decided only to issue her with a warning after she apologised for her actions.
Ms Swindells could be seen crying in the dock after spending part of the afternoon in the cells while she waited to find out her fate.