Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Reading - Torture Capital of Britain ?

We had the trial of Daniel Higgins' torturers and murderers at Reading Crown Court recently - although the deed took place in Burnham.

Home Office pathologist Dr Ashley Fegan Earl told the jury that Mr Higgins' killers used a machete to cut into his head. They also stabbed him all over his body and hit him with a blunt weapon.

We have the continuing horror story of Mary-Ann Leneghan's final hours - a case for the return of the death penalty if ever I heard one (probably one of the few things Jamal and I would agree on) .

When Mary-Ann’s friend lifted up her pillowcase she saw Johnson stabbing Mary-Ann all over her body as she curled into a ball, the court heard.

“They said they wanted her to die slowly, she became unable to move and just lay there crying. When she cried or made any sound she was stabbed again,” said Mr Latham, referring to accounts from the surviving victim.

Now, via Nosemonkey and the Philosopher, this.

Police have urgently stepped up their hunt for three vicious mini-thugs - two black, one white - believed to be as young as 13-14, who carried out an horrific robbery attack on an innocent 44-year-old man near Reading town centre in the early hours of New Year's Day. The mind-numbing ferocity of the incident is said to involve the man having his eyelids and one ear cut off.

The victim was walking alongside Kennet Side, Reading, when he was attacked as he came out from under the King’s Road bridge. He was punched to the ground by the first offender and then kicked in the head and body by all three members of the group.

The young thugs then demanded money and temporarily stopped the attack while the victim handed over his wallet and £1.50. The offenders said that this was not enough and began to attack him again.

The attack happened between 3am and 4.15am on New Year’s Day. The victim was treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he remained for four days. He received more than 100 stitches to repair damage to an eye and ear and also required surgery to repair some nerve damage.

It sounds like the people who carried out this attack - on a mother and her daughters - five days previously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As someone who grew up in Reading about ten years ago or so it's hard to say the town's got that much worse, believe it or not. I was the victim of 24 separate street crime incidents (muggings, attempted muggings and assaults) in the space of about two years, some with knives.

Most happened along the Kennet Towpath or nearby (Mandela Court, as it's known locally, is just off the towpath and is a major source of cheap cannabis and thus a target for muggers to congregate around). Mary Anne was killed in the park next to my secondary school, somewhere I also experienced a good deal of violence.

Of course on the basis of the cases you mentioned i couldn't say that the level of violence has remained the same, but as far as I'm concerned the frequency has always been pretty high.

Chris B

P.S the people accused of the Mary Anne murder are from South London, which makes only one of the cases you mention carried out by residents of Reading in Reading, but I know what you're getting at.