'Bullies beat up vulnerable Accrington man'

A COUPLE and their two friends have appeared in court, accused of conspiring to attack a vulnerable 29-year-old man.

David Busby, of Accrington, who suffers from learning difficulties, was so badly beaten that when he was taken to the Accrington Victoria Hospital by his landlord on August 24, 2011, paramedics immediately called the police.

PC Lisa Mason and PC Jenna Millward told Burnley Crown Court that the injuries they witnessed on Mr Busby’s body included whip marks on his back, and bruises to his arms, thighs, lower back, chest and kidney area.

After initially telling police the injuries were as a result of a fall, Mr Busby then admitted he had been beaten by friends at their home in Hudson Street, Accrington.

Ross Walsh, 30, and Christina Walsh, 36, of Stanley Street, Accrington, along with Farran Abbas, 18, and Sohail Abbas, 20, both of Midland Street, Accrington, are accused of one count of conspiring to commit bodily harm with intent.

Christopher Stephenson, who was lodging at the address in Hudson Street at the time, told the court he had witnessed seven to 10 attacks on Mr Busby, and was ‘ashamed’ he hadn’t spoken out about it.

He said: “I saw David being punched, kicked, hit with a pole, with a bust lip and swelling to the face.”

He also claimed to have heard Mr Busby screaming in the house, which he often visited, and agreed with the prosecution case that it was “an utterly hideous place to live”.

Mr Donnelly, defending Sohail Abbas, put it to Mr Stephenson that he had “maximised the guilt of everyone else and downplayed your own”.

Mr Stephenson denied hitting Mr Busby or encouraging the others.

PC Mason and PC Millward were directed to home of Mr and Mrs Walsh in Hudson Street by Mr Busby’s landlord, who described them as “bullies”. The court heard that after breaking the news of the injuries to Mrs Walsh, both PC Mason and PC Millward said she showed no emotion.

PC Mason said: “Christina didn’t seem too shocked and said she didn’t know anything about the injuries.”

PC Millward said: “There was no emotion. She wasn’t concerned or surprised. There was nothing there.”

(Proceeding)

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