Refuse driver 'disappointed' by attackers' sentences (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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HGV driver Leo Lowe was attacked by a group of men and women in Lyndhurst Road in Highams Park last year
A HGV driver assaulted with a dog chain and metal pole has said he is disappointed by the sentences handed to his attackers.
Kier employee Leo Lowe suffered swelling to right side of his face and bruising along his jaw following the prolonged assault on April 19 last year in Lyndhurst Road, Highams Park.
The 43 year-old, from Thamesmead, was attacked as he sat behind the wheel of the refuse truck by Chevanease Clark, 19, and Aaron Byron, 29, of Kinsfaun Road in Ilford, and Ramael Laird, 25, of Kingthornes Road in Ilford.
The three previously denied assaulting Mr Lowe, but at the start of their trial on May 19 at Stratford Magistrates Court, Bryon pleaded guilty to assault by beating and using threatening and abusive language with intent to cause fear.
Clark and Laird admitted using threatening language with intent to cause fear and were found guilty of assault by beating the following day.
Mr Lowe said he was spat at and punched by Clark, struck with a metal pole by Laird and punched repeatedly by Byron who had wrapped a metal dog chain around the fist.
At Thames Magistrates Court yesterday, Bryon was jailed for 22 weeks and Clarke for 16 weeks in a youth offenders prison.
Laird was cleared of assault by beating but jailed for 18 weeks for threatening Mr Lowe.
"I am very disappointed this is all they got but I'm glad they were apprehended and have been convicted.
"They were intent on hurting me and I had to fend for myself as one of my co-workers had run off down the street and the other one stood next to the truck in shock.
"I was fighting for my life and it if weren't for my martial arts training, they could have over-powered me.
"There was a sea of people who had heard the commotion and come out of their houses. I could have died in front of all those witnesses," said Mr Lowe.
The attack lasting eight minutes had started after Byron had double parked along the road and Mr Lowe decided to edge past his Vauxhall Astra.
A 17-year-old girl involved in the attack suffered a broken pelvis after the truck careered into a row of parked cars.
And Mr Lowe said he was disappointed that some of the people who took part in the attack have not been traced.
"There was a man with a knife trying to get into the truck and I was not waiting to be stabbed to death, so I put the truck in gear and drove off as Aaron had hold of the steering wheel," he added.
The married father-of-four suffered flashbacks following the assault and returned to work two months later. He only started working for Kier again on May 21.
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