Tram stop attack boast

Colin Greenwood, who was registered disabled and had very little eyesight, died after being kicked, punched, and stamped on by the 14-year-olds - who later bragged about the attack and even speculated about the length of sentence they might receive.

Tuesday, 11th September 2007, 10:36 am

The frail 45-year-old's fears about yobs meant he usually took taxis home from his girlfriend's house in Winn Gardens, Sheffield - but on the night of the attack he had decided to catch the tram instead.

He died the day after the savage attack, from head and brain injuries.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons and who both deny murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent, taunted Mr Greenwood as he approached Middlewood tram stop on Middlewood Road near Hillsborough.

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One of them, now 15, threatened him with a knife before joining his friend in kicking their victim as he lay on the pavement. One punched him to the ground, then kicked him in the forehead as he tried to get up.

Peter Kelson QC, prosecuting, told the court: "A schoolgirl saw the attack and described it as a joint kicking attack during which Mr Greenwood was shouting, 'No'."

The other youth, still 14, was described as stamping on Mr Greenwood's ribs and head, causing it to bounce off the ground.

Mr Greenwood, of Dryden Road, Southey Green, managed to get up and stagger towards Middlewood Road but fell, banging his head.

He refused offers of an ambulance and got on a tram, travelling to Leppings Lane before getting on a bus to Southey Green.

As he got off the bus at the junction of Southey Green Road and Crowder Road, he fell again.

An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital but, said Mr Kelson, doctors could not operate because of the accumulation of blood pressing on his brain. He died the next day.

Mr Kelson told the court that, soon after the attack, the boys bragged to witnesses. "They were effectively boasting about what they had done," he said. Later, when the 14-year-old heard Mr Greenwood had died, he said he 'wasn't bothered'.

A post mortem revealed Mr Greenwood died of a head injury and blood pressure on his brain.

"That could have been caused by the head being struck by a blow or blows, or when he fell to the ground," said Mr Kelson. "Following the head injury, blood had accumulated and was pressing on the brain, which led to a reduced consciousness level.

"He also had extensive fracturing to the rib-cage consistent with kicking."

Mr Kelson told the jury that, even if Mr Greenwood's fatal head injury had been caused by one of his falls, the boys' attack had 'contributed significantly' to his death.

"You can be sure any fall he sustained was directly caused by this attack itself," he said. "The sheer brutality of this attack speaks for itself."

The trial continues.