Northern Ireland

Scott Vineer attack: Ryan Craig jailed for five years for GBH on teenager

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Media captionHelen-Louise Doney and her son Scott Vineer hit out at the five-year jail term for the attack that caused life-changing injuries

A 10-year sentence for a County Antrim man who attacked an autistic teenager and left him with brain damage is too lenient, his victim has said.

Ryan Craig, of Ashmount Gardens in Lisburn, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Scott Vineer in 2012.

The 20-year-old will spend five years in prison with the remaining five years on supervised licence upon his release.

Mr Vineer was found with severe brain and head injuries near a disused warehouse in Lisburn after the attack.

Scared

His family were told at the time that he was unlikely to survive.

Image caption Ryan Craig had "clearly and deliberately involved himself" in the attack, the judge said

The judge at Craigavon Crown Court told Craig that Mr Vineer would "never be released from the imprisonment you subjected him to".

After the sentencing on Wednesday, Mr Vineer said: "I'm scared of what will happen when he gets out."

He added that he was "halfway between annoyed and relieved" with the sentence.

Goodbyes

Craig was due to go on trial for attempted murder in June, but he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Mr Vineer was 17 at the time of the attack and spent three months in a coma.

Image copyright Scott Vineer
Image caption Scott Vineer spent three months in a coma after the assault in September 2012

He returned home from hospital six months after the attack.

Mr Vineer's mother, Helen-Louise Doney, said that when she arrived at the hospital a doctor told her she should "be prepared to say our goodbyes".

Limitations

She said she was disappointed that Craig did not get a 15-year sentence.

"He knew what he was doing, he knew it was wrong. He deliberately kept details away from anyone that could help Scott," Mrs Doney said.

"He should've been given the maximum, as far as we're concerned."

During sentencing, the judge said Mr Vineer has still has "significant, ongoing physical limitations" three years after the attack.

Image caption Scott Vineer's mother Helen-Louise Doney said Craig "has got off easy"

He added that while it had to be accepted that Craig did not inflict the "major injuries", he was a "willing participant" in the assault.

Craig had "clearly and deliberately involved himself" in the attack, the judge added.

Determined

Craig's barrister said his client was remorseful for what he had done.

But the judge said Craig's criminal behaviour since the assault, including a petrol bomb attack on police, would suggest otherwise.

Mr Vineer, who was best man at his mother and stepfather's wedding in August, said he is determined to live a normal life.

He said he plans to leave home in the coming years so that he can live independently.

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