Victim kicked around 'like a football' in appalling attack

John McCreery who has been sentenced to three years in prison for his part in an 'appalling' attack in Attleborough.

John McCreery who has been sentenced to three years in prison for his part in an 'appalling' attack in Attleborough. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary.

A 69-year-old disabled man was “kicked around the floor like a football” and had an axe held to his throat in an “appalling” attack.

John McCreery, 54, together with another man carried out a prolonged attack on the vulnerable victim who had been falsely accused of theft.

Norwich Crown Court heard McCreery and the other man punched, kicked and stamped on the victim during the attack at a mutual friend’s home in Attleborough.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said the victim was punched, kicked and strangled with a hooded top.

The court heard the victim also had an axe held to his throat by McCreery during the ordeal on March 8 2020.

Mr Morgans said the victim, who was left with a footprint on his head, was covered in blood and suffered bleeding under surface of eyeball and spent a week in hospital following the attack.

McCreery, from Corby, Northamptonshire, appeared in court on Friday (October 1) to be sentenced having previously admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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He also admitted assault assault of an emergency worker, theft and a bail act offence.

Before McCreery was sentenced, Mr Morgans read out a statement on behalf of the victim who described how he was “unable to defend myself” during the incident.

He said: “I was kicked around the floor like a football.”

The victim, who spent a week in hospital after the attack, told how he had an axe held to his throat and feared “I was going to end up dead”.

The court heard how he is now scared to go out and suffers from an irregular heartbeat which he says was as a result of the incident.

Jailing McCreery for a total of three years Judge Andrew Shaw said: “This was an appalling attack on a defenseless and vulnerable man”.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said McCreery was being treated at the time for depression and had come away from Northampton to spend some time with a friend.

He said he drunk a large amount of alcohol and became intoxicated.

Mr Oliver said it was not an excuse but his intoxication was a factor and, when sober, “he regrets how he’s behaved”.

He said the defendant had told him “how sorry he was for what he’s done” adding that it was "clearly a joint enterprise". 

The other man involved in the attack has previously been dealt with.

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