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Teen attack trial collapse

Joseph Haigh, a 14 year old boy that's been attacked and left for dead. He was hit over the head with a housebrick and stabbed through the hand with a screwdriver. (04100940)

Joseph Haigh, a 14 year old boy that's been attacked and left for dead. He was hit over the head with a housebrick and stabbed through the hand with a screwdriver. (04100940)

The family of a schoolboy who was beaten around the head with a brick plan on leaving their home close to the scene of the attack.

The trial of seven teenagers accused of the attack collapsed this week when a key witness was unable to give evidence. All seven were found not guilty.

After the trial, Joseph’s mum, Stacey, said: “We feel we had 12 months of our lives being on hold, clinging on to something to get some justice for Joseph and we just feel kicked.”

During the trial at Leeds Crown Court, 15-year-old Joseph was forced to relive the moment a year ago when he was called ‘white trash’ and hit in the head with house brick.

Joseph, then 14, was stabbed through the hand with a screwdriver and repeatedly kicked before being left bleeding in the driveway of a derelict house near Rectory Park, Thornhill, on October 30, 2009.

The court heard he had a three centimetre cut to his face, grazes to his skull, chipped teeth, a fractured bone in his hand and a puncture wound in the back of one hand where he had shielded his face from the screwdriver.

Joseph, unconscious for most of the assault, could only give limited descriptions of his attackers.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said the a key witness had not slept for five nights before he was due to give evidence and thrown up in front of court staff the day before.

Judge Ashurst told the jury to return not guilty verdicts on all charges.

He said: “Courts can only rely on evidence and where that evidence is lacking, a trial cannot go ahead.”

The family’s home in Thornhill went on the market this week.

Joseph’s dad, Jonathan, said: “We want to get away from this area because, to be honest, I don’t think this would have happened to him if we were in another area.”

Ismail Mehbub and six other teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had all denied charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and causing racially aggravated grievous bodily harm.

Mehbub, 18, of The Sidings, Savile Town, admitted being in Rectory Park on the night of attack but denied taking part.

 
 
 

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