Ex-Plymouth Argyle trainee in 'appalling' mistaken vigilante attack
A FORMER Plymouth Argyle trainee has been ordered to pay compensation to the victim of a bungled vigilante attack in which an innocent man suffered a savage beating.
Clay Bond and his father Phillip went out of their home in the early hours of the morning and set on a passer-by who they falsely accused of stealing a bicycle.
Victim Darren Stott was actually on his way to comfort his girlfriend whose father had died just minutes earlier.
Clay Bond is a former Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United trainee.
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He and his 62-year-old father were both spared jail after they each brought £500 compensation to court.
Both men, from Sherwell Valley Road, Torquay, admitted causing actual bodily harm.
Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, jailed Clay Bond for eight months and Phillip Bond for 11 months, both suspended for two years, and ordered compensation and costs totalling £2,550. They were both curfewed for four months.
He told them:"You assaulted a man in the street at 4am who was on his way to his girlfriend's house because her father had just passed away.
"She was anxious for his comfort and he was anxious for him to comfort her but you both attacked him, dragging him by the hair into a driveway and punching him.
"It was a most appalling mistake with very unfortunate consequences for this man and his girlfriend.
"You were both drunk. It was not even your bicycle that was stolen. You went way over the top in what became an excuse for violence you beat him up severely when he was unable to defend himself.
"This was an appalling act of violence but it is better for the victim to receive compensation than for you to go to prison, which would mean you would both lose your jobs."
Miss Beth Heaton, prosecuting, said Mr Stott suffered severe facial bruising in the attack which happened as he walked a few yards from his own door to his partner's home. The two attackers had gone in search of a thief suspected of taking a bicycle from a neighbour's house and set on Mr Stott because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
David Charles, for Clay Bond, and Mr Ian Leadbetter, for Phillip Bond, said they joined in the assault in the mistaken belief that he was attacking a thief but now accept they were wrong.