Suffolk

Simon Dobbin attack: Gang 'ambushed' Cambridge United fan

Simon, Emily and Nicole Dobbin Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Simon Dobbin, with his daughter Emily (left) and wife Nicole, was attacked by rival football fans

A gang of 12 men attacked a football fan in a "carefully prepared ambush" which left him with permanent brain damage, a court has heard.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin has been unable to walk or talk since the attack in Southend in March 2015.

Basildon Crown Court heard the group of Southend United fans wanted to attack any Cambridge supporters in "revenge" for an earlier fight.

The men deny charges of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

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Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said Mr Dobbin was with a group of Cambridge fans who had stayed for a post-match drink in the Blue Boar pub after a 0-0 draw with Southend.

The court was told the defendants scouted out potential targets and attacked them as they walked past The Railway on their way to Prittlewell station.

Image caption Prosecutors say the defendants waited in The Railway before attacking the Cambridge fans

"It was a carefully prepared ambush," Mr Jackson told the court.

He described it as a "ferocious attack" which lasted up to 90 seconds, and said bottles and glasses were thrown.

"Simon Dobbin was hit and stamped upon repeatedly and he sustained massive brain injuries as a result of it," he added.

"None of these defendants had any interest that day in enjoying watching a football match.

"Their only interest lay in causing terrible and frightening violence."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Simon Dobbin (pictured centre) was put into a medically-induced coma

Thirteen Essex men deny conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

  • Greg Allen, 29, of Western Avenue, Westcliff
  • Ryan Carter, 21, of York Road, Southend
  • Jamie Chambers, 24, of Coleman Street, Southend
  • Lewis Courtnell, 34, of Stadium Road, Southend
  • Phil McGill, 32, of Hornby Avenue, Westcliff
  • Scott Nicholls, 40, of Little Spenders, Basildon
  • Matthew Petchey, 26, of Lascelles Gardens, Rochford
  • Rhys Pullen, 21, of Bridge Road, Wickford
  • Thomas Randall, 22, of Seaforth Avenue, Southend
  • Michael Shawyer, 31, of Belgrave Road, Leigh-on-Sea
  • Alexander Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff
  • James Woods, 25, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff
  • Ian Young, 41, of Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff

All except Mr Young are also charged with violent disorder.

All 12 men deny the second charge, except Pullen who has pleaded guilty.

Mr Young also faces a charge of assisting an offender by hiding the group while police were conducting a search.

The case continues.

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