...and Leeds fan Martin’s walk of courage
EVEN before he subjected a stroke victim to a merciless beating, Christopher Hartley had shown himself to be a vicious thug.
When a pensioner refused his demands to hand over cigarettes and money, Hartley responded by breaking the man’s jaw.
Such readiness to prey on the vulnerable again came to the fore when he and teenage accomplice Ryan Slattery attacked the 59-year-old stroke victim with crowbars as he lay bed-ridden.
Desperate to get their hands on money and his supply of morphine, the sickening attack left the man with a fractured skull and with slash wounds to his arms and legs.
As the judge in the case rightly said: “Judges are probably wise to restrain their use of the word ‘wicked’, but if ever there was a case that warranted the undilluted use of the word wicked – it was this one.”
Hartley, however, was not in court to hear it, having refused to move from his cell.
He may as well get comfortable in there, having been told he must now serve two-thrids of a 14-and-half-year prison sentence.
That stretch will give Hartley plenty of time to consider his actions – but as far as turning over a new leaf goes, the chances look slim.
While it must be hoped that rehabilitation is possible, some individuals are beyond redemption.
Martin’s courageous walk to Elland Road
BEING a Leeds United fan can be something of a painful experience at times.
But that takes on a whole new meaning for Whites supporter Martin Hywood.
That’s because he suffers from muscular dystrophy and cannot take more than a few steps without feeling pain.
Yet he and a team of supporters walked from Holbeck Moor Park to the Billy Bremner statue before Leeds’s home game against Bolton on Saturday, raising cash for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Let’s hope Martin’s heroes can now respond with some similarly courageous performances on the pitch.