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24th Oct, 2021

Trio who kicked victims during 'ferocious' attacks avoid jail

TWO brothers and a friend who carried out ‘ferocious’ late-night attacks on other men in Rugby town, during which two of them kicked their victims, have escaped being jailed.

Joseph and Joshua Rainbird and William Meadowcraft had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of assault, while Joshua and Meadowcraft also admitted escaping from custody.

The Rainbird brothers, who each had previous convictions, were sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for 12 months, and Meadowcraft to 12 months suspended for 12 months.

Meadowcraft, 25, of East Close, Rugby, and Joseph, 29, of Sovereign Close, Rugby, were subjected to 8pm-5am electronically tagged curfews for three months and four months respectively.

And Joshua, 26, of Seaford Road, London, was ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity – and they were all ordered to pay £400 each to each of their victims.

Prosecutor Caroline Harris said that in November 2019 Joshua Rainbird was involved in a dispute with a woman on his way to a cash machine in Market Street in Rugby town centre.

All three defendants then became involved in attacks on two men which only came to an end when a woman bravely intervened and pushed Joshua away.

The incident was captured by CCTV cameras, and the CCTV operator directed the police to the defendants.

The recording, which was played in court, showed Joseph Rainbird pushing the first victim and Joshua then punched him to the face as matters escalated.

Meanwhile Meadowcraft repeatedly struck the other victim while he was on the ground, standing astride him and hitting him with forceful punches.

And as he was pulled away by Joshua, Meadowcraft aimed kicks at the man on the ground before Joshua took over the attack by punching him three times – and Joseph also punched him.

“It is a sustained and somewhat ferocious attack,” Miss Harris observed.

Meadowcraft punched one of the victims four times before that man was dragged along the ground by his coat by Joshua.

The defendants then began to walk away, but Joseph turned and went back, punching one of the men from behind, knocking him to the ground, and then kicked him.

Meadowcraft punched the other man three times before falling to the ground himself, and Joshua punched the other man at least seven times after pulling his clothing over his head.

A woman intervened and pushed Joshua away as the police arrived, and Joshua and Meadowcraft were arrested and put in a police van.

Joseph had got into a taxi, and as officers were trying to get him out, someone opened the police van from the outside and Meadowcraft and Joshua made a run for it, added Miss Harris.

David Everett, for Joshua, said: “It was a confrontation, for whatever reason, between the group and the complainants. He shows remorse to the police and remorse to the probation officer.”

And Ian Speed, for Joseph and Meadowcraft, said it had happened after a drinking session, but neither man had offended since then.

Sentencing the three, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told them: “We have seen footage of what happened. I don’t know how it started, and frankly, it doesn’t matter.

“Two men were targeted by you in that attack. It is a great good fortune that neither had a more serious injury.

“All three of you joined in. It is only you, Mr Meadowcraft and you Joseph Rainbird, who can be seen to kick, but I am treating you all in the same way.

“You all know how completely unacceptable such behaviour is. I know in the cold, clear light of day it is something none of you would choose to do.

“But this was a group attack, and there were kicks. You have all put yourselves in very, very grave danger of going to prison today.”

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