Brave attack victim Scott deserves to feel safe again
The attack on Scott Vineer, the young man who was viciously assaulted over three years ago on his way home from college in Lisburn, was horrifying.
Scott, who suffers from autism, was left for dead before being found the following day by a police dog handler.
He was so badly injured that he has been left with brain damage and relies on crutches. He could only be identified by the bracelets he was wearing at the time. His attackers stole his mobile phone, thus depriving him of any means of summoning help. The viciousness and heartlessness of these people is almost impossible to fathom. They appeared not to care whether he lived or died.
Scott's mother Helen-Louise was told by doctors that he was not expected to survive, and if he did so, he would be left with serious injuries.
However, with enormous courage, the support of his family and great medical care, Mr Vineer did survive and exceeded the expectations of the doctors by the scale of his recovery.
This story has brought out the best and the worst of human nature. Scott has told his mother movingly that he now feels safe because one of his attackers, Ryan Craig, has been convicted and is awaiting sentence.
A defence barrister claimed that Craig is remorseful, but there was little remorse in the rude gesture he gave to the waiting media outside the court.
However, the judge has shown his understanding of the depravity of Craig's actions and commented that his remorse "has not been evident in any shape or form".
The public will be reassured by the judge's remarks that Craig can expect a lengthy sentence, and people will identify with the sentiments of Scott's mother who said that the "icing on the cake" would be the convictions of the other attackers.
However, it is heart-warming to know that a young man who has suffered so much will wake up each morning and feel that he is safe again.