TWO teenagers have been jailed for a night-time attack that left a 15-year-old York boy in a coma for three weeks with a fractured skull.

Aaron Richardson was with friends on Knavesmire near a fun-fair when a 16-year-old boy suddenly and without provocation hit him in the face, David Bradshaw, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court.

A second attacker, Damien Dickinson, then 18, then punched Aaron to the ground. Aaron was rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain and doctors feared for his life in the days after the attack, at 10pm, on September 17 last year.

Mr Bradshaw said the younger attacker started the assault. He said: “Even afterwards, he was going about bragging about what he had done and threatening to do it to other people as well.”

Dickinson, now 19, of Hull and formerly of Lindsay Avenue, Acomb, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 12 months.

The younger attacker, now 17, of south York, admitted a lesser offence of assault and was given a four-month detention and training order, the maximum sentence available to the judge because of his age.

Detective Sergeant Steve Wilson, of York CID, said the assault was “vicious and unprovoked” and said he hoped the attackers would count themselves lucky they were not facing more serious charges.

He said the fact Aaron recovered did not detract from the violence used. Det Sgt Wilson said: “Aaron and his family have had a traumatic time and I hope today’s sentences give them some sense of justice.”

Judge Roger Ibbotson ruled the younger attacker could not be named, on the grounds that he may welcome being publicly associated with the crime as a “badge of honour”.

He heard the youth had committed another assault and an offence of criminal damage since the attack and had breached a rehabilitation order three days after York Youth Court imposed it on December 4 this year. Dickinson had not offended since the attack.

The judge said the attack was a “joint enterprise” by the pair and said they had both had been drinking beforehand. He accepted neither had intended to cause serious injury.

For the youth, Laura Addy said: “The incident will live with him forever.”

She said his punch was a weak one and had not caused the major injury.

He was remorseful and recognised the impact of his action on the victim.

He had issues with anger management and substance misuse that needed addressing.

For Dickinson, Nicholas Barker said: “It was a moment of reckless stupidity. This is a young man who is riven by his guilt and remorse for what he has done.”

He had acted out of a sense of “misguided loyalty”.

He had moved out of York to get away from the people he had been associating with, including the younger attacker.