Bedlington dad savagely attacked in front of his terrified children after berating speeding driver

bedlington dad savagely attacked in front of his terrified children after berating speeding driver

Mark Chivers, who admitted assault

A dad was brutally kicked and punched in a mob attack in front of his terrified young children after shouting at a speeding driver.

David Atkinson was walking the dog with his wife and two children, aged seven and nine, when he had to pull the youngsters out of the way of a BMW driven by Brandon Chivers which came around a corner at speed. When he and his wife shouted “idiots” at the car, it stopped and Chivers approached the family, shouting and swearing.

When Mr Atkinson stood up to him and got the better of a physical altercation, a number of others joined in a group attack on him, including Chivers’ dad, Mark, when he arrived on the scene. A court heard Mr Atkinson was savagely attacked as his terrified children and wife screamed and hid behind a telegraph pole.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on August 21 last year around 6pm that the family went for a walk near their home in Bedlington Station, Northumberland. The court heard that after the couple shouted “idiots” at the car, it did a U-turn and parked up. Chivers got out and approached the family, despite his girlfriend trying to pull him back.

He asked “what’s your f****** problem” and was shouting and swearing for two or three minutes. Omar Ahmad, prosecuting, said: “The complainant said he genuinely feared he was about to be assaulted due to the defendant’s manner and he pushed the defendant back seven or eight steps.

“Brandon Chivers grabbed his collar and they fell to the ground, landing near a kerb, with Mr Atkinson on top of the defendant. Four males then approached and the complainant was then assaulted by individuals including Brandon Chivers, who kicked and punched him multiple times.

“He was kicked and punched to the face and body in front of his wife and children, who can be heard screaming.”

Mark Chivers, Brandon’s dad, then arrived on the scene and also punched the victim and tried to kick him. However he then stopped his son and others who had joined in the attack and appeared to apologise to Mr Atkinson.

The victim was left with blood streaming down his face and his eye was swollen shut. He also had numerous cuts to his face and his lower lip was punctured by his tooth. He needed three stitches to his right eyelid and had cuts to his knees and said he was left with a twitch in his eye when trying to concentrate.

His wife recognised Mark Chivers from school and he sent her a Facebook message afterwards saying “so sorry, just seen the video, my boy will get a bat in the mouth”.

In a victim impact statement written ten months after the attack, Mr Atkinson said: “It still affects me and my wife and my two young children who witnessed it and even our dog. My children are only now able to talk about what they saw but they are struggling to process it and the dog refuses to go down the street where it happened.”

He added that he has nightmares, struggles to sleep, is short-tempered, angry and it’s affected his mental health. Mr Atkinson added: “We live very close to the people who did this to me. In the street, in the shop, I’m always on edge in case I see them and worried about what they might do.

“I can’t understand how two people, especially a father and son, can do that in front of people, especially their wife and children. It blows my mind.”

Brandon Chivers, 23, who has no previous convictions and Mark Chivers, 45, who has 12 convictions, including for GBH with intent, assault and violent disorder, both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Judge Stephen Earl gave Brandon 12 months suspended for 18 months with 100 hours unpaid work and his dad got 10 months suspended for 18 months. The pair, both of Queen’s Road, Bedlington Station, were also given two-year restraining orders.

Judge Earl said: “Those two children spent their time hiding with a woman hanging onto them behind a telegraph pole. That’s quite frightening and neither of you had any thought for those kids, who could see their dad getting kicked and hit into as a result of this.”

Shada Mellor, for Brandon Chivers, said Mr Atkinson was getting the better of him at the start and that he acted out of character.

Shaun Routledge, for Mark Chivers, said he attended the scene during the incident and reacted after seeing someone involved with his son and punched the victim and aimed kicks which missed. He added that the groundworker was “full of regret and remorse” and had went on to act as a peacemaker.

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