Prison for Devon men following horrific assault

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Two Devon men face over 9 years in jail following an horrific attack that left a man with brain injuries.

Colin McLean, 37, from Liverpool suffered from brain injuries and his ear bitten off.

Stephen Doyle, 29, of st Marys Park, Collaton St Mary and Samuel Bullen, 22, from Mimosa Way, Paignton were sentenced to a total of over nine years in prison today, Friday 23rd March.

Both admitted to chasing down and violently attacking across Torbay before beating him unconscious in Lower Polsham Road, Paignton on Thursday 11 January 2018.

Doyle pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent, and pleaded guilty to a separate assault by beating on a woman on the same evening. He was sentenced to eight years and two months imprisonment.

Bullen admitted unlawful wounding but denied GBH and received 20 months in prison.

The victim McLean a self-employed electrician from Liverpool, spent eleven days in Torbay Hospital including five in intensive care following the incident in January.

His injuries included having part of his right ear bitten off, a bleed on the brain, a badly broken eye socket, broken ribs and a punctured lung.

An impact statement made by McLean and read to the court describes his life as a “living nightmare” and how he now suffers with difficulty walking, impaired speech and double vision.

Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, also told the court how the victim is still undergoing treatment by neurological experts in Merseyside for his brain injury.

CCTV clips played to the court showed how Doyle and Bullen pursued their victim across Torbay during the early hours of Thursday 11 January following a dispute in a Torquay town centre takeaway.

Footage showed how Doyle had become involved in an incident with McLean following Doyle’s unprovoked attack on the female at around 3.30am.

The court then heard that, in the minutes immediately following, McLean fled the area to return to the Travelodge on Marine Drive, Paignton where he was pursued by Doyle and Bullen in a taxi, both bent on violent retribution.

Further footage detailed how Doyle and Bullen lay in wait for McLean as he returned alone to the hotel from where he was chased into Lower Polsham Road where he suffered their 12-minute rampage.

The scene of the attack was cordoned off by police for 12 hours after the unconscious and blood-soaked victim was found by a passing taxi driver and the alarm raised.

McLean’s impact statement also told the court how he cannot yet return to work following surgery to repair his damage eye with metal plates inserted to replace the shattered bone.

Evidence from doctors treating McLean in Liverpool confirmed his injuries to be significant with lengthy after-effects.

Police officers leading the inquiry have praised the victim for his courage throughout the investigation leading to the convictions of both defendants.

DC Tim Platt, of Torquay CID, said: “It is the bravery and strength of Mr McLean which has proven crucial to the success of this investigation and conviction of Stephen Doyle and Samuel Bullen.

“Both have shown themselves to be mindless, violent criminals with no regard for the consequences of their actions or the impact this has had on the life of Mr McLean and is family.

“Despite that, the support for police of Mr McLean, his family and everyone involved has shown that brutality of this kind has no place on our streets and that those responsible will be brought to justice.

“I welcome today’s sentence for both defendants as a fitting testament to the courage of Mr McLean who can now try to rebuild his life.”

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