Drunk and baying like dogs, five women brutally attack a stranger in the street. The women – all from the same family – targeted Matthew Campbell, 38, at random, kicking and stamping on him as he lay prone on the pavement.
Their sickening eight-minute assault was captured on CCTV and resulted in all the women being jailed for six months. Mr Campbell, a commercial diver, told yesterday how he restrained himself from hitting back because he has never struck a woman before.
The video clearly shows him holding his hands up pleading with the women to stop, but a court heard they acted like a ‘pack of dogs’ to pursue their prey. The victim, who was walking home after a drink with friends, was lucky to escape the attack in November last year without major injury.
He suffered bruising all over his body, heel marks and scratches on his back and head and had a footprint mark on his face. All the women, aged between 21 and 42, are members of the same extended family and most of them are well known to the police.
They had been drinking heavily at a birthday party that evening.
Prosecutor David Cammies said they attacked Mr Campbell for no apparent reason outside the Lloyds Arms pub in Grimsby town centre at 11.30pm.
Helen Barber, 29, Rachel Barber, 31, Kelly Macdonald, 32, Belinda Tomlinson, 42, and Katie Tomlinson, 21, all admitted affray. Recorder Rachim Singh told them: ‘The CCTV showed the sickening, brutal and repeated attack.
‘You were all fuelled by drink, which is not and can never be an excuse. Regrettably this has creeped into our culture and it really must be stamped out.’
Grimsby Crown Court heard Helen Barber, who has eight previous convictions including one for battery, suffered a broken nose in the incident. She was believed to have been hit by Mr Campbell in self-defence.
Yesterday Mr Campbell said he had become ‘wary’ of going out in town centres following the incident which left him badly shaken.
He said: ‘It was a real shock. I remember trying to create some space between me and the women and trying to work out what was going on.
‘You have to defend yourself to some extent. But I’ve never been violent against any woman. I was thinking I’d better not hit back.
‘I had to restrain myself. At one point there were eight or nine sets of hands on me trying to do some damage. Women like this are no strangers to mindless violence.
Drink is just a fuel. They don’t go out to enjoy themselves they go out to cause as much mayhem as possible. Society is in trouble when that happens. It used to be just men doing this sort of thing.’
Lee Rhoads, 32, also became involved in the attack and was jailed for four months after admitting affray.
The women all live in the Grimsby area. Katie Tomlinson, the youngest of the gang, describes herself on her Bebo site as being ‘born to be wild.’
She adds: ‘Happiest When im all stella’d up n partyin.’