Detention for youth who threw brick at M-way car

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The Independent Online
A TEENAGER who hurled a brick from a motorway bridge and caused serious face injuries to a woman in a carsobbed yesterday as he was sentenced to 18 months' detention.

Paul McGillvray, 16, committed "a dreadful act of reckless hooliganism", said Judge David Swift at Manchester Crown Court. The brick smashed the windscreen and hit 30-year-old Cathy Hall, shattering her jaw. She had been travelling along the M602 in Eccles, Greater Manchester, last November after visiting the theatre with friends.

The judge told McGillvray, of Salford, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm: "The public are entitled to expect the courts to take action to deter those who might be tempted to act in the same way."

Richard Vardon, for the prosecution, said McGillvray, then15, had been drinking with friends and boasted: "I've just thrown a brick over and it's just blitzed the windscreen ... Them lazy bastards in cars, why should they be driving around while we are walking?"

Later, McGillvray was at a friend's house when a picture of Mrs Hall's injuries was shown on television. The friend's mother urged him to confess but McGillvray said he would not be caught because relatives had threatened people not to say anything. When asked to look at Mrs Hall's injuries, he shrugged and looked away.

Brian Williams, for the defence, said McGillvray had been trying to throw the brick on to a nearby railway line. He said McGillvray wanted to apologise to Ms Hall whom he had been "too ashamed to look in the face" at an earlier hearing. He said McGillvray had gone through "10 months of hell" because of media attention.

Outside court, Mrs Hall, a VAT inspector from Crosby, Merseyside, said she did not believe McGillvray when he said he was remorseful. "If that was true he would have admitted what he did and not wait for nine months," she said. "I didn't expect the sentence to be that long but I am pleased it was custody. Hopefully it will be a deterrent to other people."

She said she was still in pain and receiving hospitaltreatment. Surgeons had inserted a metal plate and screws in her jaw, and she might need another operation.

Relatives of McGillvray shouted abuse at the judge after he passed the sentence.