Dad beaten up by vicious thief
A FATHER who tried to retrieve his son's stolen moped was 'ferociously' beaten up by the thief.
Mark Price went round to Cornelius Bezuidenhout's house after hearing he had stolen the bike.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Bezuidenhout then attacked Mr Price, with the help of two accomplices.
The 21-year-old has now been jailed for a total of four years and three months after a jury found him guilty of robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
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Meanwhile one of his co-accused, 17-year-old Jordan Ward, has been sent to a young offenders' institution after the court heard he had carried out a second brutal assault weeks later.
The robbery took place in February when Bezuidenhout approached Mr Price's son as he sat on his moped in Dawlish Drive, Bentilee.
The defendant took him by the neck and smashed his head into the handlebars, tipping the bike over, and punched him in the ribs before stealing the moped.
The victim ran home and told his older brother and Mr Price, both of whom went to look for the bike.
They went to Bezuidenhout's house where they retrieved the moped. But Bezuidenhout, along with Ward and Thomas Taaffe, launched a vicious assault, repeatedly punching and kicking their victim.
Sentencing Bezuidenhout, of Wrenbury Crescent, Berryhill, Recorder Stephen Lowne called the attack "prolonged and ferocious."
Taaffe, aged 17, of Westfield Road, Bucknall, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Price occasioning him actual bodily harm.
He was sentenced to an intensive youth rehabilitation order after his barrister told how he was making efforts to change his life.
The court heard Ward, of Grendon Place, Bucknall, went on to commit a further assault on March 18. He and an associate were walking along Warrington Road, in Bucknall, when they approached students Ashley Weller and Jamie Shenton.
Ward attacked 17-year-old Mr Weller in an unprovoked assault. Prosecutor Rebecca Wade said: "He punched him to the face, knocking him to the ground, and kicked him."
Mr Shenton was also attacked by another man. The attack only stopped when brave passer-by Andrew Evans intervened. Mr Weller was left unconscious in the road and suffered a seizure when taken to hospital.
Mr Weller's blood was found on Ward's trainers, indicating he had been stamped on.
The court heard Ward, who pleaded guilty to two counts of causing actual bodily harm, had a traumatic background which had left him 'damaged', in particular witnessing the murder of his grandfather. He was handed a two-year detention and training order.
Recorder Stephen Lowne ordered that Mr Evans should receive a commendation and be awarded £200 for his bravery in stopping the Bucknall attack.
He told Ward the assault was "callous and sadistic", and said it could have been fatal were it not for Mr Evans.