Man jailed for street attacks

A MAN involved in street violence in which two innocent people were attacked in Burnley has been jailed.

Benjamin Mason, 23, was jailed for 18 months at Burnley Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of causing actual bodily harm.

His sister, Katie Kirkby, 21, who had no previous convictions, was spared custody, as was his cousin Leigh Mason, 20.

Father-of-one Benjamin Mason, who attacked a 17 year old girl and a man in two separate incidents, had almost 60 previous convictions.

Benjamin Mason, of Dall Street and Katie Kirkby, of Hufling Lane, both admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, last July 30.

The defendants, together with Leigh Mason, of Cog Lane, also pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm, last September 2.

Leigh Mason was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision and an anger management course. He must also observe a curfew between 9pm and 6am for four months and pay £750 compensation.

Kirkby, who attacked one victim with her stiletto shoe, received a nine month jail term, suspended for two years, with a four month curfew, between 9pm and 6am.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said last July, a 17 year old girl was about to go in the Walkabout bar in Burnley at 1am, when Benjamin Mason had an alteraction with a doorman. Mason went to punch the bouncer, missed and hit the girl directly in the face. She felt immediate pain and heard her nose crack.

Kirkby then shouted to the girl: "Are you starting?" She then ran towards her and hit her twice in the face.

The victim's nose was bleeding and she fainted several times. The defendants were arrested and interviewed and Kirkby said she had been very drunk.

Miss Statham said last September the three defendants were involved in an unprovoked attack on Peter Pedder. Both Benjamin Mason and the victim were thrown out of Calamity Jane's bar after a confrontation and both the Masons chased him.

He was then attacked and ended up on the ground. Benjamin Mason dragged Mr Pedder around a corner away from CCTV cameras and the assault continued. Witnesses described how two men were kicking the man on the floor.

Miss Statham said Kirkby then appeared on the scene, took her stiletto shoe off and beat Mr Pedder to the head several times whilst he was still on the ground. Mr Pedder suffered two black eyes, facial cuts and received hospital treatment.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Woolman said the attack on Peter Pedder was "appalling" and it was only good fortune the victim, who was punched and kicked to the head, was not seriously injured .

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