A soldier from Leyland has begun an eight-year sentence after he and another squaddie viciously beat up two disabled teenagers ‘just for fun.’
Sadistic Jason Ferguson, 18, was sent to a young offenders’ unit after admitting kicking a deaf and autistic 16-year-old boy so hard he was left in a coma for three days.
Fellow Army bully John Ward, 19, from Fife in Scotland, forced the other autistic boy to watch his friend being savagely beaten and then attacked him with a terracotta pot. He blamed Ferguson for initiating the assault, but was sentenced to seven years.
Merthyr Crown Court heard the pair had been on a drunken night out in the village of Sennybridge, Wales, near to their Army training camp in the Brecon Beacons when they came across the two teenagers as they walked home.
The vulnerable victims, described by the prosection as being “naive, trusting and innocent,” thought the two soldiers were just being friendly.
But they were lured into a dark alley and subjected to a sickening beating “for entertainment.”
Prosecutor Sue Ferrier said: “What happened beggars belief. They were unlucky enough to cross the paths of these men who had been drinking all night and were heavily intoxicated. Their two victims were targeted. They were identified because of their particular vulnerabilities. They led sheltered lives and did not appreciate they were being lined up with what was to follow - a brutal and sadistic attack.”
Ferguson admitted two counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
His barrister Jeremy Jenkins said he had had a wretched upbringing and had been abandoned by his drug addict parents.
Ward’s lawyer, John Ryan, said had it not been for Ferguson his client would not have done what he did. “He has brought shame on the Army and apologises for that.”
Judge Daniel Williams told them: “You saw those boys as entertainment and you saw their differences as reason to torment and bully them and beat them unconscious.
“It was a chilling and sadistic attack. There was gratuitous degradation. Miraculously, there was no long term physical injury.”