Thirteen football thugs jailed for savage attack that left Mildenhall man Simon Dobbin unable to walk or talk

Simon Dobbin with his wife, Nicole, before the attack.

Simon Dobbin with his wife, Nicole, before the attack. - Credit: Archant

Thugs convicted over an attack that left a rival football fan unable to walk or talk have been jailed for total of more than 42 years.

Offenders in the Simon Dobbin attack. Top, from left Alexander Woods, Greg Allen, Ian Young, James W

Offenders in the Simon Dobbin attack. Top, from left Alexander Woods, Greg Allen, Ian Young, James Woods, Jamie Chambers, Lewis Courtnell, Matthew Petchey. Bottom from left, Michael Shawyer, Philip McGill, Rhys Pullen, Ryan Carter, Scott Nicholls and Thomas Randell. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: PA

Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin, 45, from Mildenhall, suffered permanent brain damage in the attack as he walked to Prittlewell station in Southend following his team's 0-0 draw at Southend United on March 21 2015.

Basildon Crown Court convicted 13 of their involvement in the attack, which saw a small group of away fans ambushed by the mob, though they remain unaware of who landed the most devastating blows.

Eight men were found guilty of violent disorder, alongside Rhys Pullen, 21, of Bridge Road, Wickford, who had already admitted the charge. He was jailed 16 months.

The others were: Ryan Carter, 21, of York Road, Southend (five years in jail); Jamie Chambers, 24, of Coleman Road, Southend (four years); Lewis Courtnell, 34, of Stadium Road, Southend (three-and-a-half years); Scott Nicholls, 40, of Little Spenders, Basildon (three-and-a-half years); Matthew Petchey, 26, of Lascelles Gardens, Rochford (three-and-a-half years); Thomas Randall, 22, of Seaforth Avenue, Southend (five years); Alexander Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff (five years), and his twin brother James Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff (three years).

Simon Dobbin pictured with his wife Nicole outside Basildon Crown Court after 12 men were sentenced

Simon Dobbin pictured with his wife Nicole outside Basildon Crown Court after 12 men were sentenced for the attack which left him permanently brain damaged. - Credit: Archant


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Three men were cleared of violent disorder, but found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder. They were: Greg Allen, 29, of Western Avenue, Westcliff (three years); Phil McGill, 32, of Hornby Gardens, Rochford (three years), and Michael Shawyer, 32, of Belgrave Road, Leigh-on-Sea (two-and-a-half years).

Ian Young, 41, of Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff, was cleared of conspiracy to commit violent disorder but found guilty of assisting an offender by hiding the group while police were conducting a search. He will be sentenced next month.

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Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of Essex Police, said: 'Simon Dobbin is an entirely innocent victim of an unprovoked, savage attack which left him with a permanent and devastating brain injury.'

Mr Dobbin's wife Nicole said: 'Not only did those responsible destroy Simon's life, but they took mine also.' Their daughter Emily said her father now cried at anything violent on TV and struggled to watch football.

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