Pair jailed for “wicked” attack

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Two men have been jailed following a “wicked” attack on a man who was lured to a flat in Scarborough and subjected to a horrendous ordeal.

An audio recording of the vicious, sustained assault was played at York crown court. The victim could be heard crying and begging the attackers to stop as he was knocked to the floor then punched, kicked and allegedly stamped on.

The victim, who needed hospital treatment for cuts, bruises and a black eye, was attacked by up to five men, police believe. But Ryan Gallagher, 24, and his mate Harry Soper, 22, were behind the attack, said prosecutor Michael Bosomworth.

Gallagher was also charged with possessing a disguised firearm. In the recording, taken from Soper’s phone, someone in the flat shouts: “Ryan, put it away”. This was thought to be a reference to Gallagher’s Taser-type stun gun, disguised as an iPhone or torch.

Soper claimed the victim had been physically abusive to a close family member. He and Gallagher were arrested at the flat after the victim escaped and fled to the police station.

Gallagher, of no fixed address, was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and possessing a disguised firearm. Soper, of Coldyhill Lane in Newby, was charged with ABH.

Both defendants remained tight-lipped during police questioning but eventually admitted all charges after the victim’s blood was found on their clothes.

Three other men taken in for questioning denied involvement and were due to face trial, but this was abandoned.

Soper and Gallagher appeared for sentence with their fates already sealed, having been told by judge Sean Morris at a previous hearing that jail was inevitable. The judge said the incident at the flat was a “wicked case”. Gallagher was jailed for three years and nine months, Soper for 27 months.

Both had previous convictions for threatening behaviour, assaulting and obstructing a police officer, criminal damage and being drunk and disorderly. Gallagher had also breached court orders and received reprimands for battery. Since the attack at the flat, he has been convicted of cannabis production.