Attack trio spared jail

MERCY has been shown by a judge to a man who attacked his brother's killer before he even knew his brother had been harmed.Adam Brown, along with two friends Aaron Stone and Straby Margai, stopped Paul Dwyer and attacked him after spotting him driving the car of Peter Brown – Adam's missing brother.

MERCY has been shown by a judge to a man who attacked his brother's killer before he even knew his brother had been harmed.

Adam Brown, along with two friends Aaron Stone and Straby Margai, stopped Paul Dwyer and attacked him after spotting him driving the car of Peter Brown – Adam's missing brother.

Unknown by the trio, Dwyer had just stabbed Peter Brown more than a dozen times in an Ipswich flat.

All three were yesterday given a 12-month conditional discharge at Norwich Crown Court.

Adam Brown, 22, formerly of Navarino Road, London, Margai, 18, of Rodney Street, Islington, and 20-year-old Stone of Pembery Close, Hackney had all admitted unlawfully wounding Paul Dwyer on October 26, 2001.

Judge John Farnworth told them: "You were all two years younger when this happened and each of you need to move on with your lives. I think the measure of mercy that the court can extend should be reflected in the sentence that I pass."

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The court heard from Hugh Vass, prosecuting, that Peter Brown, Adam Brown's brother, had gone to Ipswich the previous day to sell drugs. But Adam Brown had not been able to contact his brother after a telephone call in which he overheard Peter Brown having an argument with someone.

Worried about his brother, Adam Brown and his two friends drove from London in a blue Ford Fiesta to try to find him.

By chance, they saw Peter's white Vauxhall Cavalier on the A12 being driven by two strangers and gave chase.

Dwyer claimed they rammed his car from behind and then forced it off the road – demanding to be told what had happened to Peter who they thought had been kidnapped.

In fact, earlier that day Dwyer and Peter had had a fight as Peter was tresspassing on Dwyer's 'patch'.

Peter was stabbed and killed and Dwyer was convicted of his murder at a trial in July 2002.

The boys did not know this at the time, and Adam Brown was told of his brother's death by police, after they arrested him for assaulting Dwyer.

Adam Brown told police in interview that Dwyer had attacked him with a knife, and that he had suffered a deep cut in his right hand.

Seeing this, Margai had restrained Dwyer, and he admitted using considerable force.

Mr Vass said that a couple returning from babysitting thought there had been an accident when they saw the two cars off the A12, and stopped to help.

Dicken Read and Katie Kemp initially thought Dwyer on the ground was having a fit, and asked if he was all right. But then they saw him being punched and kicked, and retreated to their car to call the police.

"They deliberately attacked and inflicted injuries on Dwyer," said Mr Vass, "either to force information out of him as to what had happened to Peter Brown, or to exact retribution."

Mitigating for Adam Brown, Francis Gilbert said: "What began as self-defence, overstepped the mark."

He said Brown had no pattern of offending before his brother's murder, but was now in an "emotional and vulnerable state as his response to a catastrophic event".

For Margai, James McCrindell said his client accepted that it had been the wrong way of going about things, but there was "a clear element of provocation".

For Stone, defence barrister Harry Potter stressed the 'truly exceptional circumstances', and said: "The murderer was apprehended as a result of these boys' actions, before he had time to get rid of the knife or the jacket he was wearing in the murder."

He added that it was a 'one-off in exceptional, unrepeatable circumstances'.

Judge Farnworth told the trio: "The truth of the matter is you took the law in to your own hands and that is the route to anarchy.

"Violence will only beget violence. But I am mindful of the tragedy behind it. I accept and understand how that appalling event must have impacted on you, Adam Brown.

"In view of the circumstances that the victim brought about, I have reached the decision that to impose custody, a rehabilitation order or a community punishment order would not be appropriate."

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