The mother of an austistic teenager who was left for dead three years ago after he was set upon close to the towpath at the Laganbank Road, in Lisburn has called his attacker ‘pure evil’ and says she can never forgive him.
Helen-Louise Doney was speaking as Ryan Craig was jailed for his part in attacking Scott Vineer (20) who suffers from autism, back in September 2012.
Scott has been left with severe brain and head injuries as well as mobility problems.
Craig from Ashmount Gardens, was to go on trial for attempted murder but later pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
“Craig has never apologised to us, as a family for what he has put my son through,” said Helen-Louise.
“He and his family have had three years and plenty of opportunities to speak to me through solicitors or to talk to me but no-one ever has.
“Ryan is just pure evil through and through and they should just throw away the key, so society is protected. Being behind bars means he can never hurt another human being again.”
During a recent court appearance Helen-Louise discovered Ryan had a violent past and had been in trouble from the age of 14. He had been at the Young offenders Centre as a teenager and served one year and one on licence.
She said, “His solicitors has claimed that his violent past was because of his autism. That is an insult. I have four sons who all suffer from ASD and they would never dream of attacking anyone.
“I will never forgive him. He preyed on my son, kicked him, punched him and even used a skirting board to beat him. He tried to kill him.
“Where was the mercy for my son? He bullied my son from the time he started Beechlawn School in 2006.
“I don’t know the reason. No-one was ever able to tell me. My son is a gentle soul and would never hurt anyone. He never even had a school detention. Craig had a deep seeded hatred for my son.
“Craig would have bullied Scotts friends too but because of the size of Scott he would have tried to protect his friends and he did not like this.
“Even before Scotts attack Craig would have followed me, if I was out walking and I felt intimidated. He is a danger to society and should never be allowed out.
“I know that Craig wasn’t the only attacker, but police say there is not enough evidence to convict anyone else.”
Helen-Louise, said her family has been left with a life sentence.
She said that she will never forget when she first set eyes on Scott after the attack.
“I did not recognise him,” she said. “Police had to identify him by a bracelet he was wearing. He had trainer marks on his face. He was never expected to live. We were told that if he lived he would be left in a vegetative state.”
After spending six months in a coma, Scott had to learn to walk again. He now uses crutches to walk, and never goes out.
“He would have gone out to see his friends, but he was afraid while Craig was still about,” said Helen Louise. “His memory is non existent and has difficulty with his hands.
“Scott never feels safe while Ryan is about. Now that he is behind bars I hope that we can all put this behind us.
“I know that Craig wasn’t just him, but there is not enough evidence to convict anyone else.”