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JAILED: Thugs receive four years for savage New Year attack

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Two thugs have each been jailed for four years after savagely attacking a man when New Year celebrations ended in violence.

Anthony Williams and Reuben Hudson turned on Paul Spruce when he went to the aid of his cousin in the early hours of January 1, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard

They punched, kicked and stamped on the victim whose ankle was badly fractured during the beating, explained Mr Richard Frank, prosecuting.

Hudson was arrested the following day but Williams was not detained until several weeks later.

Mr Spruce stepped in to help Michelle McCall after spotting that the 25 year old was involved in a dispute with Williams - the father of her two-year-old daughter - and Hudson in Cannock Road, Springfield, Wolverhampton. The two groups had seen in the New Year at different clubs in the area.

McCall and her father Geoffrey Scragg – Mr Spruce's uncle – then tried to get him to withdraw his allegation against the attackers, the court heard.

During a phone call on February 18, Scragg, 55, offered him £5,000 to retract the statement to police identifying the attackers and later passed on a message from Williams - who was still on the run at the time, continued Mr Frank, who added: "It said 'I ain't going down for that, I would rather go to the hospital and shoot Paul first".

Scragg was arrested on February 26 and soon afterwards McCall went to the home of Scragg and his partner where she screamed abuse and warned the woman 'this ain't over,' it was said.

Mr Frank concluded: "Both Mr Spruce and his partner felt intimidated and threatened by the defendants."

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The couple had to change both their land line and mobile phone numbers, the court was told. McCall allegedly described them as 'grasses.'

Mr Oliver Woolhouse , defending, said Scragg was seriously ill after three heart attacks and needed regular kidney dialysis treatment, and was merely acting as a 'go between.'

Daniel Oscroft, for McCall declared: "This was a family dispute that got horribly out of hand."

Williams, 32, from Yarwell Close, Springfield, and Hudson of Wedgewood Crescent, Ketley, were both convicted of causing grievous bodily harm after a trial and were jailed by Judge Michael Challinor who told them: "Initially you were involved in an argument with Michelle McCall and when Mr Spruce went to protect her he was punched in the face, kicked karate-style to the chest and then kicked and stamped on as he lay in the road. He needed a metal plate in his leg and now walks with a stick."

Scragg of Hamilton Gardens, Bushbury admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months while McCall from Purrell Road, Bushbury, pleaded guilty to witness intimidation and received a six-month prison term, also suspended for 18 months. She was further ordered to pay £600 costs.

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