Belfast Telegraph

Attack victim 'deteriorating'

Mum's fear for son as she prepares to challenge 'leniency' of assailant's five-year term

By Deborah McAleese

A mother whose autistic son was left with brain damage after a vicious attack four years ago has said she is worried that his condition could be deteriorating.

Scott Vineer was brutally kicked, beaten and left for dead in a shocking attack in Lisburn in 2012.

The Lisburn man, who was 17 at the time, survived, despite his injuries being so severe that he could only be identified by the bracelets he was wearing. However, his mother Helen-Louise Doney said she is concerned that his brain injury may be getting worse.

"After the attack Scott developed a shake," said Mrs Doney.

"We have noticed that recently his shakes are getting worse at times. His head also shakes now. It never did before.

"His head has only begun to shake over the past few months. It gets a lot worse if he is tired or stressed. We are waiting to see the specialist about it." Despite his extensive injuries Scott has worked hard to rebuild his life. He now has a girlfriend and is learning to drive, his mum said.

"I'm so proud of him. He is being very brave and trying his best to move on," she added.

In November one of his attackers, Lisburn man Ryan Craig, was jailed for five years. Scott went missing on September 6, 2012, on his way home from college in Lisburn where Craig was also a student.

His mother alerted police at 10.10pm that evening. It was not until 9pm the following evening that Scott was discovered by a PSNI dog handler, lying unconscious in the grounds of a disused furniture showroom close to the Lagan towpath in Lisburn.

Craig was one of three people to attack Scott. They led him to the disused furniture showroom where they beat and kicked him in the head as he lay on the ground. Craig then grabbed a plank of wood and began to strike the defenceless teen with it. As Scott lay unconscious, Craig went through his pockets and threw away his mobile phone.

Scott was left with serious life-changing injuries. He was in hospital for several months, at times only able to breath through tubes and unable to eat.

Mrs Doney is due to meet with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory, to discuss her concern over the "leniency" of the five-year jail term handed down to her son's attacker. She is to be joined by Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson who has also asked the Attorney General, John Larkin, to look at mounting a challenge against the sentence.

Mr Donaldson said he did not believe justice had been done.

"Scott was left to die and will have to live with the consequences of this callous attack for the rest of his life. We have to send out a clear message that this type of violence will not be dealt with leniently," Mr Donaldson said.

Mrs Doney also wants the PPS to reconsider a decision not to pursue two brothers that police believe were involved in the attack on her son.

Belfast Telegraph


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