/ Trio jailed for violent attack on man in shop

Three men who punched, kicked and stamped on a man in a convenience store as he lay helpless on the ground have been sentenced.

Warren Anton Laing (born 26/6/79) of no fixed abode but previously from Stretford and Damien Francis Loughman (born 4/5/76) of Britnall Avenue. Longsight were both found guilty after a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

On Friday 30 November 2012, Laing and Loughman were sentenced to seven years in prison, with an extended licence of five years.

Antonio Dominique Matthews (born 10/11/84) of Caythorpe Street, Moss Side pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was sentenced to five years.

The attack happened in the Nisa convenience store on Stockport Road in Longsight at about midday on Tuesday 3 January 2012, as the victim, a 38-year-old man, was shopping.

Damien Loughman

Damien Loughman

Warren Laing

Warren Laing

Antonio Matthews

Antonio Matthews

The defendants then approached him and one of them punched him to the ground, and the trio then set upon the victim.

During the attack, the victim was left helpless as he was faced with an avalanche of punches, kicks and stamps.

The trio then left him for dead as they left the store and got into a waiting Chrysler that sped away.

Paramedics then attended the scene, which one of them later described as "shocking".

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to serious injuries to his eye, face, head and body.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police's Xcalibre Task Force carried out an investigation and Laing, Loughman and Matthews were identified as the suspects.

They were arrested three days later.

Detective Sergeant Jimmy Cowan said: "This has clearly been a harrowing experience for the victim. Such were the extent of his injuries, he was fortunate not to lose the sight in one of his eyes.

"But, from the start, this was also a difficult and testing investigation for us.

"Although the incident happened during lunchtime in a busy convenience store, no members of the public came forward and CCTV footage from the store was unavailable.

"In our view, witnesses were shocked by the incident and intimidated by the perpetrators.

"Despite this, the determination of the Xcalibre Task Force officers who worked in close partnership with Manchester City Council and the CPS meant that enough evidence was gathered to bring the offenders to justice."

Detective Inspector Paul Miller said: "Justice has been done. Three violent men, whom we believe to be connected to gangs in south Manchester, have been sentenced for a prolonged and serious assault.

"I would like to congratulate the officers who investigated this incident for their tireless work.

"These convictions send a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated by the police or the criminal justice system."

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