Teenagers jailed for 'random' bus attack

Two teenagers have been jailed after leaving an innocent man with a fractured skull during a random attack on a bus.

Paul Gaskell, 25, was punched and kicked and his head was stamped on during the five-minute assault.



Mr Gaskell, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was left with a broken jaw and fractured skull and now suffers severe headaches.



He also lost his job as a cleaner due to time off work caused by his injuries, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard.



Mr Gaskell was minding his own business on the top deck of a bus when confronted by Michael Aspin, 18, his accomplice Joshua Sumner-Stagg, 18, and another youth who cannot be named because he is only 17.



Aspin had no fewer than 49 previous offences on his record while the other two also had previous convictions.



The three teenagers got on the bus going through Oldham at around 10.45pm on January 18 this year when Aspin instantly harassed his victim for cigarettes or "burn", which is slang for cannabis.



When Mr Gaskell told them he did not smoke, Aspin responded by punching his victim in the face.



Because Mr Gaskell tried to defend himself, all three dragged him to the floor, punching and kicking him.



The victim had his head repeatedly stamped on, causing the fracture to his skull.



Mr Gaskell eventually escaped and all three offenders then got off the bus - laughing as they went. They were later identified and arrested by police.



Passing sentence, Judge Leslie Newton said: "This was a vicious, sustained attack, involving kicking and stamping on the victim, leading to serious injuries."



Aspin, of Derwent Drive, Shaw, Oldham, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent at an earlier hearing.



He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institute.



Sumner-Stagg, of Suffolk Street, Werneth, Oldham, and the 17-year-old boy both pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.



Sumner-Stagg was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders institute while the 17-year-old was sentenced to a two-year community order and given a six-month curfew.



Detective Constable Ian Webb said: "This was a random and violent attack on a man who was doing nothing other than minding his own business, trying to get home on the bus.



"Unfortunately he was joined by a group of thugs apparently intent on causing trouble. The level of assault was sickening with repeated stamps to the victim's head while he was on the floor.



"The severity of this assault has been reflected in today's sentence and I hope this will now help the victim move on from this appalling incident."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future