‘Heartbreaking’ blow for Scott and his family

Helen-Louise Vineer and her son Scott Vineer, who was beaten up and left for dead while walking home from college in 2012. US1524-548cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Helen-Louise Vineer and her son Scott Vineer, who was beaten up and left for dead while walking home from college in 2012. US1524-548cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Relatives of an autistic man left for dead after an unprovoked attack in Lisburn three years ago this week faced a “heartbreaking” blow.

Scott Vineer’s family has said it was told it could not pursue an appeal against the 10-year sentence handed down to his convicted attacker, Ryan Craig.

According to the family the office of the Director of Public Prosecution has said it believed the jail term to be ‘fair.’

Craig, of Ashmount Gardens, admitted the 2012 attack on Scott, who was beaten with a skirting board and kicked to the point that trainer marks were left on his face, before he was abandoned near a disused warehouse.

The attack left Scott, who was 17 at the time, with severe brain damage and he spent six months in hospital - three of them in a coma.

At the time of the attack Scott’s family was told he was unlikely to survive and told to get ready and to say their goodbyes.

Craig (20) will spend five years in prison with the remaining five years on supervised licence upon his release.

Scott’s mother said she was disappointed that Craig was not charged with attempted murder and handed a 15 year sentence.

At the time of the case, the judge told Craig that he ‘clearly and deliberately involved himself’ in the attack and said Scott would ‘never be released from the imprisonment you subjected him to.’

Craig was due to go on trial for attempted murder in June, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

On Facebook Scott’s mother Helen Louise Doney, this week vented her anger over the Director’s decision.

She said, “Have just spoken to the office of the Director of Public Prosection. They in their wisdom have decided the sentence given to Criag is fair and therefore are not proceeding any further to get a longer sentence.

“Scott is fuming, very upset and shouting. We are not impressed either. So heartbreaking. There is absolutely nothing we can do now. So upset. Sitting here crying. So unfair.”

Their campaign was backed by Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who wrote to the Attorney General and the Justice Minister David Ford