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Vicious assault captured on video; Other victims are urged to come forward.

Byline: Neil McKay

SHOCKED police and magistrates watched video footage of a "vicious, premeditated street attack" which left a teenager unconscious and requiring specialist hospital treatment.

Officers suspect the attack, which was filmed on a mobile phone, was just one of many carried out in Peterlee, County Durham, but that the victims have been too terrified to come forward.

They say the violence is being deliberately choreographed and recorded on mobile phones for potential use on the internet.

Last night detectives pledged to crack down on the offenders, after watching what they described as a "sickening" attack on the defenceless teenager. The youngster, 18, was sitting on a wall outside Fourbouys newsagents in Oakerside Drive, Peterlee, when his assailant, following a countdown from his accomplice, who was recording the incident, lashed out.

He kneed him in the face repeatedly before punching him several times, also in the face.

He then threw the victim down some stone steps where he continued to punch and kick him before stamping on his head, leaving him unconscious.

He required specialist treatment for eye injuries.

The attack took place on Tuesday, May 18, at 7.30pm and the investigating officer, Det Const Lee Blakelock, said the incident was so serious it could not be referred to as "happy slapping".

He added: "Experienced officers who viewed the recording were sickened by the nature and level of the violence involved.

"This was not a happy slapping attack, it was a vicious, sustained and unprovoked attack in which the victim offered no resistance.

"It was only by dint of good fortune that the victim was not more badly hurt.

"We believe from our inquiries that there have been other incidents of this type but the victims have been too afraid to come forward.

"We would like to reassure them that we will relentlessly pursue those responsible and that this sort of violence will not be tolerated."

Two local men, both 20, have been remanded in custody by magistrates in Peterlee charged with wounding with intent.

Court proceedings were adjourned until June 4.

We believe there have been other incidents of this type but the victims have been afraid to come forward
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 28, 2008
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