Brothers jailed for ‘vicious and cowardly’ rail attack

Daniel McAteer, of Robin Hey, Leyland. Below, his brother Joseph McAteer, of Troutbeck Road, Chorley
Daniel McAteer, of Robin Hey, Leyland. Below, his brother Joseph McAteer, of Troutbeck Road, Chorley

Two brothers are facing almost seven years in prison for viciously attacking a Leyland man at Chorley Railway Station.

Daniel McAteer, of Robin Hey, Leyland, and Joseph McAteer, of Troutbeck Road, Chorley, appeared at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday, April 23, having been found guilty for assault and wounding at an earlier hearing.

Joseph McAteer, of Troutbeck Road, Chorley

Joseph McAteer, of Troutbeck Road, Chorley

The court was told the McAteer brothers, together with a friend, were at the Preston-bound platform at Chorley Railway Station at about 7pm on Friday, October 26, 2012.

The victim, a 45-year-old from Leyland, was waiting on the platform for a train when one of the brothers, believed to be Daniel, approached him without warning and punched him in the face.

The victim grabbed Daniel McAteer in an attempt to protect himself and the pair fell to the floor with the victim on top of McAteer.

As the pair struggled, Joseph McAteer produced a metal bar, which had been hidden in his sleeve, and struck the victim several times to the head causing significant cuts.

The McAteers and their friend, who took no part in the attack, ran from the scene whilst the victim was taken to hospital where he received numerous stitches for the wounds to his head.

Detective Constable Chris Biggs, of British Transport Police, said: “We were informed of the assault shortly after the incident took place and soon had a description of the McAteers thanks to excellent accounts from several witnesses.

“Daniel McAteer was arrested shortly after the assault in Chorley, whilst Joseph McAteer was arrested at his home.

“Both protested their innocence and maintained this throughout the investigation, pleading not guilty when the case came to trial at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.”

DC Biggs added: “This was a vicious and cowardly assault on a member of the public who was minding his own business waiting for a train.

“The McAteers clearly had no thought for the potential seriousness of the injuries they caused and Joseph, in particular, seemed prepared to use a metal bar to assault an unarmed man – indeed the fact that he had the bar in his sleeve shows he was almost expecting to use it that night.

“Any violence is abhorrent, but this case is particularly disturbing due to the sudden, vicious, and indiscriminate nature of the attack.

“Thankfully, there were a number of witnesses, including rail staff, willing to come forward and I would like to commend them and the victim for their cooperation and the bravery they have shown in helping secure a conviction.

“The sentence handed down to the McAteers should provide a stark warning to anyone else who may consider acting in a violent manner on the rail network.

“British Transport Police is committed to tackling all forms of violence and will use all available means to trace offenders and bring them to justice.”

Joseph McAteer was found guilty of S18 wounding and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Daniel McAteer was found guilty of S39 assault and was sentenced to five months imprisonment. He was also convicted of several other, unrelated, offences and was jailed for a total of 30 months.