Rugby dealer jailed for attack on autistic teen - The Rugby Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

Rugby dealer jailed for attack on autistic teen

Rugby Editorial 2nd Apr, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

A VULNERABLE autistic teen was threatened by men wielding knives and subjected to a ‘despicable’ assault by a drug dealer who believed he had paid with fake money.

Ryan Nicholls was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to assaulting the 15-year-old, causing him actual bodily harm, and a separate charge of common assault.

The 20-year-old, of Tennyson Avenue, was also given concurrent six-month sentences for two charges of supplying cannabis, which he had also admitted.

With him in the dock at Warwick Crown Court were four other men – Matthew Sutherland, Stephen Kaye, Ryan Mitchell and Daniel Whiteley.

Prosecutor Graham Russell said the 15-year-old victim and two friends went to the home of Kaye’s aunt in Lytham Road on October 18 where they smoked cannabis.

After his friends left the teenager was woken up at 3am by Kaye telling him he was in trouble for giving fake £20 notes to Nicholls for cannabis.

Kaye threatened the youngster with a knife and told Nicholls to come over, which he did – also arming himself with a knife.

The pair backed the boy into a corner and demanded money before more men arrived, including Sutherland and Mitchell.

The youth was threatened and when he tried to run was chased by a group of about five men who punched and kicked him.

After being knocked to the ground he was punched in the face before he finally managed to escape.

Following his arrest Nicholls insisted he had no remorse for what he had done, saying his victim had got what he deserved.

In January last year police stopped Nicholls in his car with Whiteley in the back and both men were found with drugs and cash on them.

Whiteley admitted jointly buying cannabis with Nicholls for three friends, while Nicholls admitted he was a supplier with around 30 customers.

Whiteley, 25, of Grizedale, Rugby, was given a community order with 18 months supervision and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work for possessing cannabis with intent to supply it.

Sutherland, 19, of Main Street, Willoughby, who also admitted assaulting the young victim, was jailed for 14 months.

Kaye, 20, of Victoria Avenue, Rugby, and Mitchell, 19, of Olton Road, Rugby, were given community sentences with 12 months supervision after they admitted using threatening behaviour.

Kaye, who had also pleaded guilty to common assault, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a Thinking Skills programme.

Matthew Brook, for Nicholls, conceded his behaviour had been ‘despicable’ but urged the judge to suspend his sentence.

Ben Gow, for Kaye, said what happened in the house was unacceptable but Kaye denied being involved in what happened outside.

And David Everett, for Sutherland, pointed out that his part in the assault had been a single blow.

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