A MAN was kicked and beaten so badly he had to be given the last rites.
Now the man who attacked Nicholas Lee has been jailed for more than eight years.
Builder Daniel Cosgrove has been jailed for a total of eight-and-a-half years for a horrific attack on a witness who reported a theft to the police which led to his arrest.
Cosgrove threw Mr Lee to the ground and repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on him demanding he retract his evidence to the police, Leeds Crown Court was told.
Mr Lee collapsed several days later and was found to have a split in his spleen from which he nearly died.
He even had the last rites in hospital.
Richard Walters, prosecuting, said another man who saw the attack said: “It was absolutely disgusting, there was no need. I thought he was going to kill him, stamping him, booting him.
“It was something like a dog would do, like ragging him around.”
Cosgrove, 45, of Burniston Drive, Oakes , was convicted by a jury in April of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, witness intimidation and theft.
Jailing him yesterday Judge Rodney Jameson QC said Mr Lee had contacted the police after seeing stone flags being stolen in Blackmoorfoot on November 2 last year.
They were later found in the back of a Renault van being used by Cosgrove.
He said Mr Lee in informing the police was “acting not only properly but admirably.”
Cosgrove was arrested and bailed. The judge said from his remarks while under arrest, his demeanour at trial and the contents of the pre-sentence report it was clear Cosgrove, if he did not regard himself as “above the law”, felt at least he should not be prosecuted for theft.
Having discovered who had reported him to the police he went to the house of a friend Daniel O’Connell in November 6 where by chance Mr Lee was present.
He did not immediately realise who he was but a short time later did and returned, confronting him on the doorstep.
The judge said: “It is clear from the evidence you picked him up, threw him to the concrete floor, where you began a vicious assault on him, punching kicking and stamping on him repeatedly.
“At one point you picked him up, threw him down again and the assault continued in the same way. You told him if he did not drop the charges you would kill him.”
Judge Jameson said Mr Lee did not report what had happened and subsequently rang the police to retract his statement and Cosgrove would have got away with the matter but for his victim collapsing a week later and having to be rushed to hospital for surgery with a rupture in his spleen, when the truth came out.
He said Cosgrove maintained denials until his trial when the witnesses found the courage to give evidence in spite of his “physical appearance and reputation” and his plea to simple grievous bodily harm was not accepted.
Chloe Hudson, for Cosgrove, said he still maintained he had been wearing trainers and not steel toe-capped boots as alleged, had not intended serious harm and that the jury had got their verdict wrong.
He was a hard-working man who came from a decent family.