Trio handed suspended sentences for subjecting stranger to 'alcohol-fuelled' attack outside Doncaster railway station

Three defendants who drunkenly attacked a man as he waited for a taxi at Doncaster railway station have walked away from court with suspended sentences.

By Sarah Marshall
Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 5:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 5:08 pm
The three defendants attacked a man as he waited for a taxi outside Doncaster railway station
The three defendants attacked a man as he waited for a taxi outside Doncaster railway station

Connor Barton, 19, Christopher Silman, 23, and his brother, Luke Silman, 19, all pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, relating to the shocking attack that took place on November 11, 2017. 

Prosecutor, Brian Outhwaite, told Sheffield Crown Court during a hearing held today,, how the victim was waiting for a taxi at the rank outside Doncaster railway station when Luke aggressively asked him: ‘What you looking at?’ 

“The complainant replied saying ‘he just wanted to go home’,” said Mr Outhwaite, adding that Luke left the scene following this interaction. 

He added: “About a minute later, Christopher Silman approached him grabbed him around the neck, shouting and swearing, and asking him: ‘What have you said to my brother?’

Luke and Connor arrived on the scene a short time later, and all three defendants launched into a group attack on the complainant. 

Both Silman brothers were captured punching and kicking him on CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) while Connor could be seen punching him. 

Mr Outhwaite said the attack only came to an end when a member of the public who was walking out of the train station with his wife intervened and told the three defendants to ‘pack it in’. 

The defendants subsequently fled the scene, and members of the public helped take the complainant to hospital. 

He suffered a fractured rib, bruising and swelling to his chest and a trapped nerve to his lower back. 

In a statement read to the court, the complainant described how his injuries had left him feeling apprehensive about going into Doncaster town centre, and had resulted in him having to take time off work. 

Following the incident, British Transport Police released a CCTV appeal in the hope of identifying the defendants, but did not receive any information that helped trace them. 

The investigating officer spotted Christopher by chance at Doncaster railway station in August last year, after recognising him from the CCTV images, and asked him about the assault. 

Christopher and the other two defendants were asked to go to the police station for an interview, and they all admitted their involvement in the attack. 

Judge Sarah Wright sentenced all three defendants to 10 months, suspended for 12 months; ordered them to each pay the victim £1,000 in compensation; to complete a five-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours of unpaid work. 

She told them: “Late-night, alcohol-fuelled violence on the streets resulted in an aggressive, sustained and unprovoked attack on a member of the public just trying to make his way home and can not, under any circumstances, be tolerated.”

Judge Wright said she had just been persuaded to suspend their prison sentences, on account of their lack of previous convictions, the fact they have not committed any further offences since the attack, their apparent remorse and personal mitigation.