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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 13:36 GMT
Train attack youth's sentence cut
Joseph Paxton
Joe Paxton suffered serious head and chest injuries
A union has criticised the shortened prison sentence given to a youth who dropped masonry from a bridge which hit and severely injured a train driver.

Daniel Ratcliffe, 17, of Broad Street, Kidderminster, Worcs, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in December after admitting criminal damage.

The Appeal Court said his sentence was excessive and reduced it to six years.

Mick Whelan, from Aslef, said the incident could have killed driver Joseph Paxton, 56, from Birmingham.

He said: "This was a life-threatening event committed on somebody just going about their day-do-day job.

'Laughing and joking'

"We do feel that any sentence has to reflect the potential that Joe could have died."

Kevin Clee, 19, of Grasmere Close, Kidderminster, also admitted the attack and was jailed for six years.

Ratcliffe's lawyers argued his longer sentence was unfair.

The court heard how the 45lb (20kg) brickwork slab had "bounced off" a passenger train and onto the cab of a freight train, which was being driven by 56-year-old Joseph Paxton, from Perry Barr.

Mr Paxton was left unconscious and suffered serious head and chest injuries.

Previously, the court hearing heard how the pair were seen laughing and joking shortly after dropping the masonry.

Two jailed for train brick attack
04 Dec 07 |  Hereford/Worcs
Driver lost memory after attack
06 Feb 07 |  Hereford/Worcs
Appeal after train driver injured
25 Jan 07 |  Hereford/Worcs
Youths quizzed over train attack
02 Jan 07 |  Hereford/Worcs
Reward offered after driver hurt
21 Dec 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Train driver critically injured
19 Dec 06 |  Hereford/Worcs

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