Thug posts 'just got off' on Facebook minutes after leaving court
Published 13/12/2011 | 13:14
A TEENAGER who was part of a gang that attacked a pensioner with a concrete slab walked free from court - then used Facebook to laugh about avoiding jail.
Ryan Girdlestone escaped with a curfew after his lawyer said he was full of remorse for the incident which left Bernard O'Donnell, 79, with a suspected broken leg.
But minutes later, Girdlestone, 18, updated his Facebook status with the message: 'Jus got out off court wiv a 4 mouths [sic] tag hahahha d**ks!!!".
Mr O'Donnell - who has lived at his home in Sandacre Road, Baguley, Greater Manchester, for 54 years - accused the teenager of 'laughing at the law'.
He said: "Clearly, he has no care for the damage he has caused. This has really knocked the stuffing out of me. I fear for myself and all my neighbours - but I will not be driven out of my home."
Girdlestone, from Baguley, was part of a gang who hurled dozens of eggs at Mr O'Donnell's house in a Halloween 'prank' on October 31.
The pensioner went outside to clean up the mess. But minutes later, several of the youths reappeared and launched a second attack on his car.
As they were leaving, one of the gang - not Girdlestone - hurled the slab at the vehicle. It hit Mr O'Donnell, who was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
Dominic Geelan, prosecuting, told Manchester magistrates' court that the teenager had taken 'an enthusiastic part' in targeting the victim's house.
But Matthew Wallace, defending, said Girdlestone was 'disgusted' by what had happened.
The teenager was not at the scene when the slab was thrown and had not meant to hurt anyone, he said.
Mr Wallace added: "He admitted rounding up other youths to egg the house - but everything got out of hand. He has learning difficulties and is easily led."
Girdlestone admitted using threatening and abusive behaviour.
Sentencing him, deputy district Judge Rod Ross said the incident had left him feeling 'appalled' adding: "Mr O'Donnell was a vulnerable victim. He was only doing his public duty reporting people who had acted in an anti-social manner."
Girdlestone was given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting Mr O'Donnell, or going on to his road, as well as the 6pm-6am curfew.
He was also ordered to pay £75 compensation to the victim and £85 court costs. Girdlestone said later he 'very much regretted' posting the Facebook message.
He added: "I thought I might well be going to prison. I was happy and relieved I was not. "It doesn't mean I am not remorseful for my actions."
A 15-year-old pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive behaviour towards Mr O'Donnell. He was given a nine-month referral order and two-year restraining order.