FOUR young thugs who formed an armed mob and behaved like “animals” in a daylight street attack on a York man have been jailed.

One of them, Billy Allan, 18, was on bail at the time for nearly killing a second man, Anthony Lansbury, 51, and leaving him with life changing brain injuries in a separate attack.

Describing the noon attack in The Groves on October 5, Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said the quartet cycled towards their victim Mark Maddison, 28, with one holding a golf club “like a lance” in front of him, and two others holding a plank of wood and an ornamental rock.

Using their weapons, the three knocked him to the ground where they kicked and hit him while accomplice Rocky Allen, 20, shouted encouragement.

“You attacked with a mob mentality, rounding on Mr Maddison,” said Recorder Michelle Heeley.

“Anyone watching would have been terrified. You acted like animals.”

Mr Adlington said exactly a month earlier, a young girl had screamed: “He’s dead” after witnessing Billy Allan’s midnight attack on Anthony Lansbury in Melrosegate, Tang Hall.

She was one of three girls aged 16, 16 and 19 who saw Allan cycle after the 51-year-old as he was walking home just after midnight on September 5 and punch him once to the face. Mr Lansbury fell to the ground and lay unconscious.

They called the ambulance service who rushed Mr Lansbury to hospital where doctors later that day feared for his life.

He had to have two major head operations and needed 80 stitches, said Mr Adlington, and had suffered long-lasting and serious brain injury.

“One cannot but be moved by the effect not only on Mr Lansbury, but also on his family,” said the judge after reading lengthy statements from his relatives.

She jailed Allan, of Kempton Close, Acomb, for three years and four months.

Mr Lansbury’s sister, Kim Farrar, who was in court to see Allan jailed, said: “I’m not happy with it, but what can I do? I’m not happy with it. I just walked away.

“I thought he would get more. But at the end of the day he’s gone down for what he’s done and now we have just got to concentrate on looking after Anthony now.”

She said: “He’s still not fully recovered. His speech is still slurred, he’s still got double vision, no sense of taste or smell, still not good on his legs.

“We’ve got to get on with things now so that’s what we’re doing now it’s finished. It’s done. It’s nice to have a line drawn down under it.

Allan admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Lansbury, violent disorder for the attack on Mr Maddison and theft of a mobile phone from a car.

Mr Adlington said on September 5, Allan cycled up to Mr Lansbury and they exchanged words. Mr Lansbury walked on and Allan went after him. The girls said he was the aggressor.

On September 29, a member of the public filmed Allan stealing the phone and handed the footage to police.

On October 5, Mr Maddison had been pursuing the quartet on his bike when they armed themselves and turned on him after an altercation with his girlfriend.

Trainee chef Jack Alexander, 20, of Fox Covert, Huntington, Jordan Lawrence Ellerby, 18, of Kirkham Avenue, and Rocky Lee Allen, 20, of Roche Avenue, all admitted violent disorder. Alexander and Ellerby were jailed for 16 months, Allen for 12.

Lawyers for all four said they were remorseful for their crimes, which had not been premeditated and had been committed on impulse. For Allan, Kevin Blount said he had not gone looking for a fight when he hit Mr Lansbury.