A TEENAGER high on ketamine and alcohol joined in a screwdriver attack with two other men after they chased their victim down a darkened street.

In the early hours of October 21, 2023, Shantosh Surendra was repeatedly stabbed in the back and suffered a punctured lung close to the Duke pub on Duke Street, although it was unclear which of the trio inflicted the wounds.

Two of his attackers, Jack Mather, of Gerards Lane, and Dillon Smith, of Lakemoor Close, were both put behind bars for 22 months last month, with the 19-year-olds pleading guilty to wounding during the trial.

The third man involved was 18-year-old Harry Holcroft, of Lowfield Lane, who had also been found guilty of wounding after a trial.

Holcroft's sentence, which had been adjourned due to his lack of co-operation with a pre-sentence report, was heard at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, July 8.

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Jack Mather was sentenced to 22 months for his involvement in the attackJack Mather was sentenced to 22 months for his involvement in the attack (Image: Merseyside Police)
The court heard that the incident occurred after the victim saw the defendants “giving him the side eye" while drinking in the The Duke pub in St Helens town centre.

Prosecutor Gerald Baxter explained that when Surendra left to get a taxi they followed him, and although he ran away, the group caught up with him and kicked, punched, and stabbed him with a screwdriver, or something similar.

When the attack stopped, Surendra found blood dripping down his back and arms and felt dizzy. Fortunately, a passing police patrol spotted him and took him to Aintree Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, puncture wounds, and a collapsed lung.

Racist remarks are also reported to have been made during the attack, while Holcroft, who was “substantially affected by ketamine and alcohol”, is said to have left the scene after the attack.

Dillon Smith was also jailed for 22 monthsDillon Smith was also jailed for 22 months (Image: Merseyside Police)
Carmel Wilde, defending, had told the court: ”It is a joint enterprise case, and all three were involved in this shocking attack. He wanted to apologise to the complainant.

"He was disgusted with himself and has said that Mr Surendra could have died. He is a rather mild mannered young man. He has foolishly involved himself in someone else's feud.

"The defendant was the last to arrive and foolishly involved himself."

Mrs Wilde told the court that her client had previously worked in a warehouse and had to decline a job offer from McDonald's due to his curfew because he could not be flexible.

She said he is due to attend an interview for the Army soon and is due to start college in September, while also hoping to undertake an apprenticeship. 

He has stopped taking drugs, which "played a part in his poor decision making that evening,” added Miss Wilde.

Holcroft was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on July 8Holcroft was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on July 8 (Image: St Helens Star)
Sentencing Holcroft, Judge David Potter said that the incident began because of an allegation that the victim had behaved inappropriately towards a female and when the trio saw him they gave chase.

Judge Potter said: “You joined that chase and did so I am sure half-heartedly and out of mis-placed loyalty to people you hardly knew. You jogged behind the leading chaser.

“The assault had begun by the time you arrived on the scene and you joined in that assault. It cannot be said you inflicted any wounds.”

Judge Potter said that Holcroft has now expressed “significant remorse” and unlike his co-accused has no previous convictions. It was also stated that the 18-year-old has been struggling with his mental health since the incident, but has secured employment and has had an electronically monitored curfew for the last 35 days.

The judge said that only a custodial sentence was appropriate, but as there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, he would take an exceptional course and suspend a term of 18 months detention for 18 months.

He also ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and 20 days rehabilitation activities.

Judge Potter warned him that if he re-offends during the next 18 months he should “pack your bag” as he would be going into custody.