Four jailed over 'nightmarish' Co. Antrim attack and kidnapping that left victim with brain injury

Four jailed over 'nightmarish' Co. Antrim attack and kidnapping that left victim with brain injury

FOUR men have been jailed for their role in a brutal attack and kidnapping that left the victim with a permanent brain injury.

David Cherry, Glen Sheridan, Mark Bradshaw and Sean Davies appeared before Belfast Crown Court on Thursday, where they were sentenced to between 28 and 67 months.

Following the sentencing, a police spokesman said the case was 'one of the most violent, sickening and sadistic attacks I have ever investigated'.

Beaten and stabbed

The incident occurred at a house in Ballymena on October 11, 2021, during which the victim was subjected to a prolonged assault.

He was severely beaten, forced to strip down to his boxer shorts and made to use his clothes to clean up his own blood.

The victim was on the floor and unable to defend himself when he was stabbed in the chest with a knife, then slashed on both sides of the face.

"Throughout the nightmarish attack, the victim was kicked, while continually forced to wipe up the blood," said Detective Inspector McCoy of the PSNI.

"Meanwhile, the defendants laughed.

"This man was then taken by car and dumped, like an object, in a field near Broughshane.

"Later, the victim was found lying unconscious in the field and wearing only boxer shorts.

"The victim's car was subsequently found burnt-out on the edge of Ballymena."

The victim remained in intensive care under sedation for a number of weeks.

His injuries included a stab wound to the chest, fracture and detachment of the jaw, injuries to his face and roof of the mouth and a fracture to the base of the skull.

He also sustained permanent damage to facial nerves, permanent blocking of a main artery to the brain and a permanent brain injury.

'Barbaric and senseless attack'

Bradshaw, 53, and Sheridan, 45, had both previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping and were sentenced to 67 months and 57 months respectively.

Cherry, 41, was sentenced to 62 months having earlier pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.

Meanwhile, 41-year-old Davies was sentenced to 28 months after pleading guilty to arson.

A fifth defendant, who had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and kidnapping, is to be sentenced at a later date.

"Today, after a lengthy investigation, and with the support of colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service, the defendants have been held accountable for their actions," added DI McCoy.

"At the same time, I'm sadly mindful that this barbaric and senseless attack has left lasting scars, both emotional and physical.

"The victim, and indeed his family, have suffered unimaginably."