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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Boys jailed for tram stop murder
Leon Gray, left, and Lewis Barlow
The judge said the boys' childhoods could be to blame for their crime
Two boys who killed a partially-sighted man by kicking and stamping on him at a tram stop have been jailed for at least 12-and-a-half years for his murder.

Colin Greenwood, 45, from Southey Green, Sheffield, was attacked by Leon Gray and Lewis Barlow at the Middlewood tram stop in the city on 13 April.

The father-of-five died in hospital the next day. Gray, 15, and Barlow, 14, were found guilty of murder last month.

Sheffield Crown Court heard both boys came from "dysfunctional families".

It was gratuitous, unprovoked and sustained violence
Judge Alan Goldsack QC

The boys' trial heard that Mr Greenwood was on his way home from seeing his five children - aged between four and 11 - at his former partner's home when the attack happened.

He was described in court as "vulnerable", being "not only visually disabled, but also highly intoxicated and suffering from the effects of long-established alcoholism".

Mr Greenwood kicked out at one of the boys as they pretended to punch him and threatened to stab him with a knife.

The pair then cornered him and pulled him to the ground, where Barlow stamped on his ribs before both boys kicked him in the head.

Boys 'boasted'

The court heard Mr Greenwood continued his journey on a tram, telling one witness who stopped to help him that he should use a white stick, but did not as he had been attacked before and it drew attention to his disability.

Colin Greenwood
Mr Greenwood died the morning after he was attacked

Witnesses also told the court how Barlow and Gray, who were both 14 at the time, returned to their estate in the Winn Gardens area of the city after the attack "boasting" about what they had done.

His Honour Judge Alan Goldsack QC, honorary recorder of Sheffield, lifted reporting restrictions banning the identification of the boys.

He described the pair as "out of control, amoral and prepared to use gratuitous and mindless violence on vulnerable people".

He said: "It was gratuitous, unprovoked and sustained violence and in so far as there is an explanation, it appears to lie in your family backgrounds and the culture in which you've grown up.

Judge Goldsack said he would be rewarding one 14-year-old witness 500 for coming forward to police to describe the attack and name the people involved.

Boys, 14, guilty of murdering man
21 Sep 07 |  South Yorkshire
Schoolboys 'kicked man in head'
11 Sep 07 |  South Yorkshire

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