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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Neal Keeling

Teenager's bid to frighten witnesses by posting police interviews on Snapchat

A teenager was able to obtain police interviews with a victim of a savage assault. The 16-year-old boy also got hold of a police interview with a witness to the attack. He then posted the footage on Snapchat in a bid to intimidate them.

The astonishing breach of security was revealed during a trial of the teenager and seven others for violent disorder after an attack on a boy aged 17 in which machetes, knives, and an axe were used.

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Police went to Hermitage Road, Rishton, Blackburn, near to the old paper mill, at 9pm on August 6th 2021, following reports the victim had been chased and attacked by a large group of youths armed with the weapons. The youngest of the offenders were just 14 at the time the offence was committed.

The gang chased the victim through woodlands brandishing weapons, including Danny Yakub, Kane Taylor, Davis Hargreaves, James Meagre, Jay Dean Slater, Connor Armstrong and two 16-year-old boys who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The victim told police the defendants were behaving “like a bunch of gorillas”. After reaching the roadside, the victim was set upon by a number of the group who assaulted him with weapons and knocked him to the ground.

A member of the public came to assist the victim and told the attackers to stop because they were going to kill the boy. Members of the group responded by saying; “we are going to kill him” and “he’s dead boys”. The victim suffered puncture wounds to his shoulder blades and legs and was also stamped on. His injuries were not life-threatening.

The disused Old Paper Mill on Hermitage Street in Rishton (Accrington Observer)

In a statement Lancashire Constabulary said: "After the defendants were arrested and charged, one of the 16-year-olds obtained footage of police interviews featuring the victim and a member of the public. He then circulated it on Snapchat, with offensive comments and emojis in a bid to intimidate them. Those posts were shared by Yakub."

Following a trial at Preston Crown Court, the defendants were found guilty of the below:

Danny Yakub, 18, Blackburn Road, Great Harwood. Violent disorder and attempted witness intimidation.

Kane Taylor, 19, Rippon Road, Accrington. Violent disorder.

Davis Hargreaves, 18, Plantation Road, Accrington. Violent disorder.

James Meagre, 18, Tinker Brook Close, Accrington. Violent disorder.

Jay Dean Slater, 18, Fountains Way, Accrington. Violent disorder.

Connor Armstrong, 19, Christ Church Street, Accrington. Violent disorder.

A 16-year-old boy from Accrington. Violent disorder and two counts of attempted witness intimidation.

A second 16-year-old boy from Accrington. Violent disorder.

Detective Constable Sarah Whittaker said: "This was an appalling crime committed against a young victim. It was fortunate that he was not more seriously injured or even killed. I welcome the verdicts from the jury and thank them for carefully considering the evidence and coming to the conclusion they have.

“I hope these convictions send a strong message to anybody thinking of arming themselves and committing senseless acts of violence. We will identify you and we will put you before the courts.” The defendants will be sentenced on August 3 and 4.

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