Jail for thugs who left their victim for dead

THREE thugs who beat a man to within an inch of his life at Camden Lock have been put behind bars

Ed Thomas

THREE thugs who beat a man to within an inch of his life at Camden Lock have been put behind bars.

Glen O'Leary, Joshua Gregory and Rory Allen were jailed last week for a total of eight years after their brutal attack on Iannachis Nearchou last March.

They surrounded a man waiting for a cab on Camden High Street and asked him for his possessions. When Mr Nearchou, who was known as Johnny, stepped in to help, they pushed him towards the lockside Starbucks and rained down blows.

CCTV caught them punching and kicking the victim to the ground, before stamping on his head more than 20 times. When they moved away, Mr Nearchou, who had only been trying to help, was motionless and unconscious.

All three Camden Town men pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court and were jailed last Wednesday.

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O'Leary, 20, from Grafton Road, will serve four years and three months in a young offenders' institute for grievous bodily harm.

Gregory, 19, from Wilmot Place, was yesterday sentenced to three years in a young offenders institute. And Allen, 22, from Castlehaven Road, received nine months imprisonment for affray.

His Honour Judge Lucas said the victim of the attack was "extremely lucky to be alive" and could have suffered a serious brain injury. Sentencing the trio he said they had deliberately separated the victim from his friends and subjected him to a "wholly unprovoked substantial beating" which was a "cowardly group attack".

He added: "O'Leary was intent on doing as much damage as possible," and had stamped on the victim's head in a "frenzied manner".

The man suffered a broken cheek bone, concussion and other injuries to his head and body, and needed hospital treatment at the Royal Free. Police rushed to the scene in the early hours of March 24 and made one of the arrests immediately. The other two were apprehended afterwards.

DC Paul Wilde of Camden CID said: "Officers from Camden's Metropolitan Special Constab-ulary were first on scene at this assault and were pivotal in securing the scene, evidence and witness statements.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Camden Council CCTV operators who spotted the assault taking place and informed police.

"This was a violent and unprovoked attack and I am pleased that those responsible have been identified, charged, put before the courts and received custodial sentences which reflect the seriousness of the offence."