Stanley police
Photo by Newcastle Chronicle

Four Men Sentenced in Harrowing Ballymena Kidnapping and Assault Case

Four individuals were sentenced today, Thursday, May 9, for their involvement in a disturbing incident of kidnapping and assault that occurred in Ballymena in 2021. The case, which concluded at Belfast Crown Court, involved defendants David Cherry, Glen Sheridan, Mark Bradshaw, and Sean Davies.

David Cherry, 41, received a sentence of 62 months after admitting to charges of grievous bodily harm and kidnapping. Glen Sheridan, 45, who also pled guilty to kidnapping, was sentenced to 57 months. Mark Bradshaw, 53, received a 67-month sentence for his role in the kidnapping, while Sean Davies, 41, was sentenced to 28 months for arson.

A fifth defendant, involved in the attack, is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and kidnapping.

Detailing the brutal nature of the crime, Detective Inspector McCoy described the attack as one of the most heinous he has encountered. “The attack on the victim took place in a house in Ballymena on 11 October 2021, and is one of the most violent, sickening, and sadistic attacks I have ever investigated,” he said.

The victim underwent a prolonged and gruesome ordeal. He was severely beaten, forced to strip to his boxer shorts, and coerced into cleaning up his own blood with his clothes. During the assault, he was stabbed in the chest and slashed across the face. As the attack continued, the perpetrators mocked him, further dehumanizing their victims.

“The victim was on the floor and unable to defend himself when he was stabbed in the chest with a knife, then slashed on both sides of the face. Throughout the nightmarish attack, the victim was kicked, while continually forced to wipe up the blood. Meanwhile, the defendants laughed,” McCoy added.

After the assault, the victim was abandoned in a field near Broughshane, only to be found unconscious and wearing just his boxer shorts. His car was later discovered burnt out on the outskirts of Ballymena.

The victim’s injuries were extensive and life-altering, including a stab wound to the chest, a fractured jaw, facial injuries, and a fractured skull base, leading to permanent neurological damage and other long-term impairments.

Detective Inspector McCoy noted the resolution of the case: “Today, after a lengthy investigation, and with the support of colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service, the defendants have been held accountable for their actions.”

Despite the legal closure, the emotional and physical scars remain, deeply affecting both the victim and his family. “At the same time, I’m sadly mindful that this barbaric and senseless attack has left lasting scars, both emotional and physical. The victim, and indeed his family, have suffered unimaginably,” concluded McCoy.

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