Plymouth victim's relief as nightclub attackers are convicted
A VICTIM left brain damaged when he was repeatedly kicked and punched has spoken of his relief after his attackers were brought to justice.
Thomas Field, 22, and Joe Cadogan, 23, both face jail sentences after brutally assaulting Alex Wheeler as he lay defenceless on the floor. They are to be sentenced tomorrow for the assault at a city nightclub more than a year ago.
Field, of Ladysmith Road, St Judes, had denied causing Mr Wheeler grievous bodily harm with intent. He admitted a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm without intent. But a jury found him guilty after a three-day trial at Plymouth Crown Court.
Cadogan had earlier admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
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Speaking exclusively to The Herald after the verdict, Alex Wheeler said: "Finally after putting me and my family through hell, and the worst possible turmoil, justice has come.
"Hopefully it will give them time to reflect on their careless actions. I have suffered since this happened and always will do. Hopefully they will now feel some of what I feel every day."
The court was shown dramatic CCTV footage from inside the Bang! Bang! Club in North Hill, which showed the assault in the early hours of November 27, 2011.
A brawl breaks out between two groups, one including Cadogan and Field, and another including Mr Wheeler.
The court heard it started when Ryan Jones, a friend of the victim, bumped into Field and spilt his drink.
The film shows Field aiming a flurry of punches at Mr Wheeler.
Mr Wheeler stumbles to the ground and Field knocks him down with a punch as he tries to get up.
He then stamps on Mr Wheeler and Cadogan knees him and punches him, all while he is on the ground.
Field later steps over the unconscious man as he leaves the club.
Mr Wheeler was left in intensive care at Derriford Hospital with bleeding on the brain.
David Gittins, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said after the verdict that the attack had gone on to have a long lasting impact on both Mr Wheeler and his family.
He said: "This has had a devastating effect on the whole family who are very close.
"Alex has had difficulties at work and extended psychological difficulties.
"There has been an absolute change in Alex's character since the attack. It's been harder for him to meet new people and he struggles in social situations.
"His family still have to give him a substantial amount of care day-to-day."
Judge Cottle told Field: "I will, as an act of mercy, allow you to have bail until 10am on Friday morning, so you can get your things in order. You will return, along with Mr Cadogan, to be sentenced together."