Pair jailed for 'revenge' attack on innocent man
TWO young men involved in a mistaken but brutal revenge attack on an innocent man will spend Christmas away from their families.
Victim Andrew Coll, who suffered a broken jaw in the assault, was at Bristol Crown Court to see his main attacker Conner Grant, 21, right, jailed for five years and four months.
Anthony Sandison, 19, below, who drove the attackers to and from the scene, wept and looked to his family as he was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution.
Both men had pleaded guilty to causing Mr Coll grievous bodily harm with intent on the grounds the assault was a joint enterprise.
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Two other men believed to have taken part in the attack on August 29 last year have never been identified.
The court heard that Sandison had driven Grant and two other men to find a man called Stephen Watt who had kicked Sandison's blue Peugeot causing damage to a wing mirror.
But instead the three men attacked Mr Coll causing him serious injury as Sandison watched from his car.
Virginia Cornwall, prosecuting, said there had been sporadic bouts of violence at Saltford Sports Club which was holding a cricket and cider festival on the bank holiday.
She said during that violence Grant attacked a man with a weapon, believed to be a hammer, but that the victim refused to press charges.
"Later as Sandison drove away a man called Stephen Watt kicked out at his car and damaged it," she said.
"Subsequently retribution was sought. Later the car is seen circling looking for Mr Watt.
"Andrew Coll was a completely innocent victim. He was with his girlfriend just talking on the street not very far from the venue. They were approached by the group and a mixed race male asked if he was Stephen Watt. He replied not but was punched in the face and then struck with a hard object which the Crown would invite the court to infer was a hammer.
"When Mr Sandison was arrested his car was searched and a claw hammer was found."
Miss Cornwall said Mr Coll went to hospital suffering a broken jaw which led to him needing an operation under general anaesthetic. She said Mr Coll has also suffered with depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
The court heard Sandison was of good character but Grant had convictions for battery and affray.
Kate Brunner, defending Sandison, of Wayford Close, Keynsham, said: "The reason he didn't get out of the car was precisely because he didn't want to get involved in the violence."
Nigel Fryer, defending, Grant, of HMP Bristol, said his client was sadly becoming institutionalised to prison but had shown genuine remorse for what had happened and offered an apology to Mr Coll for what he did.