Man in Islington attacked over Facebook row between girlfriends

A young thug led a group attack on a helpless victim over a Facebook row between two teenage girls, a court heard this week.

Grant Doyle, 21, of Marriott Road, Finsbury Park dispensed the vicious beating on Paul Wicks following a spat between their respective girlfriends on the social networking site in April.

Mr Wicks had earlier challenged Doyle’s girlfriend Marie Mesgane as their paths crossed in Cheverton Road, Islington, over abuse she allegedly posted to his partner’s Facebook profile.

Robert Hutchinson, prosecuting, said: “Messages were sent to his girlfriend saying he, Paul Wicks, was beating her up, and that his mother was a “scumbag” who should “rot in the ground”. He decided to confront her.” But he left her alone when she threatened that “they” would come and get him, he said. Hours later, Mr Wicks was walking in the same road when a group of seven including Doyle and a 17-year-old from Holloway, who cannot be named for legal reasons, ambushed him.

Doyle demanded to know what Mr Wicks had been saying to his girlfriend but before he could answer, the 17-year-old punched his jaw while another began repeatedly hitting him in the head with a belt wrapped round his fist.

Mr Hutchinson said: “He then had his legs kicked away from him, and he fell to the floor. Mr Wicks was then repeatedly kicked to the body.

“In particular he recalled seeing Doyle ‘toe punt’ him in the rib cage, which caused him a particularly large amount of pain.”

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The court heard the victim was left covered in bruises with welts on his head.

Doyle was arrested days later after handing himself in at a local police station and has been kept in custody since being charged.

Both Doyle and the 17-year-old admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Jane Sullivan sentenced Doyle to six months in prison and he was released from custody on the spot due to time already served. She handed the teenager a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, requiring him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.