Gang of thugs were like ‘pack of animals’

SCENE OF THE ATTACK St Mary's churchyard in Fratton
SCENE OF THE ATTACK St Mary's churchyard in Fratton
PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

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TWO attackers who set upon a man like ‘a pack of animals’ have been jailed.

Rebecca Mabe, 34, and Anthony Heather, 20, were among a gang who beat up Jaroslaw Pieniazek in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in St Mary’s Road, Fratton.

The victim, from Poland, was not seriously hurt, but has left the country following his ordeal.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Heather set upon Mr Pieniazek on July 21 last year because he thought the victim had been involved in an incident with his girlfriend.

Elisabeth Bussey-Jones, prosecuting, said: ‘The victim bought some chips he was carrying in a plastic bag and sat down on a bench in the park in order to eat them. While he was sitting there he was approached by a man who asked if he remembered him.

‘The gentleman was then surrounded by five or six of what he believed to be males and females and it wasn’t long before he found himself on the floor receiving blows.

‘He covered his head with his arms. He said he could feel kicks and punches and people jumping on him. This lasted for a matter of minutes. He sat on the floor. He was scared. He looked up and saw a female with a knife.

‘He managed to get away and walk on to the street where he says he felt safer, but the group continued to follow him. He said that during the whole incident he was fearing for his life, especially when he saw the knife.’

Mabe, of Highfield Road, Landport, admitted affray, possessing a bladed article in public and breaching a suspended sentence. She was jailed for nine months.

Heather, of Maldon Road, Wymering, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for eight months

Judge Henry said: ‘An independent witness said in his statement the group all acted as a pack of animals, in my opinion all acting together. Any member of the public would have been rightly terrified of this behaviour.’