Page last updated at 06:22 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 07:22 UK

Boys jailed for tram stop killing

Leon Gray, left, and Lewis Barlow
At an earlier hearing a judge said the boys' childhoods could be to blame

Two boys who killed a partially-sighted man by kicking and stamping on him at a tram stop in Sheffield have been jailed for four years each for manslaughter.

Lewis Barlow, 15, and Leon Gray, 16, were originally convicted of murdering Colin Greenwood but their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal.

They faced a retrial at Leeds Crown Court but the prosecution accepted guilty pleas to the lesser charge.

Outside court Mr Greenwood's girlfriend said the sentences were "diabolical".

Tracey Beechill, 40, from Sheffield, said: "It's disgusting. They should lock them up and throw the key away."

'Joint attack'

Miss Beechill has five children with Mr Greenwood, aged between five and 12, and said their lives had been destroyed by their father's death.

"Lewis Barlow and Leon Gray can continue with their lives in seven months, my children have lost a good father and they will never be with him again. Their lives have dramatically changed."

The court heard heard how Barlow and Gray took part in a "joint attack", which involved punching, kicking and stamping on 45-year-old Mr Greenwood as he waited for a tram at the Middlewood stop in Sheffield.

Mr Greenwood was registered as disabled and the court heard he should have used a white stick but did not as he believed it made him more of a target.

Colin Greenwood
Mr Greenwood died the morning after he was attacked

The court was told how Mr Greenwood, an alcoholic, was well-known in the local community for shouting abuse if provoked and that the two boys, who were both 14 at the time, were trying to provoke such a response from him on the day of the attack.

Judge Peter Collier QC, the Recorder of Leeds, said the teenagers began their attack by taunting Mr Greenwood, with Barlow throwing a mock punch and Gray threatening him with a penknife.

When Mr Greenwood responded by kicking out at the boys, Barlow punched him, causing him to fall to the floor.

Barlow then stamped on the victim's chest and head before Gray kicked him at "full pelt" to the side of his head, connecting with his temple and causing his head to hit the kerb.

After the attack, Mr Greenwood fell, hitting his head hard on the road, before continuing his journey by tram and bus.

As he got off the bus, he collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he died the next day from a head injury.

Judge Collier told the teenagers they would serve half of their four-year sentences, less the 519 days they had already spent in custody, before being released on licence.

Boys jailed for tram stop murder
05 Oct 07 |  South Yorkshire
Boys, 14, guilty of murdering man
21 Sep 07 |  South Yorkshire
Schoolboys 'kicked man in head'
11 Sep 07 |  South Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific