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2 November 2018, 17:24 | Updated: 2 November 2018, 17:25
"Only luck" saved a man from being killed in a unprovoked "sickening" assault by three youths on a tram station platform, a judge has said.
Ian Scott, 49, was targeted by the two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old - all boys - on his way home as they all alighted Freehold station in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, on the evening of March 8.
The three-minute attack, captured on CCTV, showed Mr Scott being repeatedly kicked and stamped on as he lay unconscious before a tram stopped on the opposite side of the tracks.
Shocked passengers watched on helplessly and shouted for the violence to stop before they helped force the tram doors open and the youths ran from the scene as Mr Scott lay in a pool of blood.
The victim suffered bleeding behind his left eye, a loss of teeth, a broken nose, heavy facial swelling and bruising.
Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard the assault had left a "profound and life-changing" affect on Mr Scott - both physically and psychologically.
Sentencing, Judge Bernadette Baxter said: "It was a prolonged, vicious and sickening attack which could have killed Mr Scott.
"It is only luck that saved him."
She told one of the 15-year-old defendants - who landed the most blows - that there was no sign he would have stopped if the arriving tram had not pulled into the station.
The teenager also committed two separate assaults on members of the public on the Greater Manchester Metrolink route the previous month.
He was locked up for six years after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The 16-year-old and the other 15-year-old were sentenced to five years in custody after they also admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Scott.
In mitigation, the defendants - who cannot be named for legal reasons - were all said to be immature.
The main assailant had suffered a number of "significant traumas" in his young life, which provided no excuse but may be a reason for his behaviour, the court heard.
Following sentencing on Friday, Detective Sergeant Alex Brown, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Today, three violent teenagers have been held accountable for their sickening actions.
"They subjected an innocent man to a relentless, brutal and shocking attack for no reason other than because they felt like it.
"They gained enjoyment from beating a man to the point where he was unconscious and was unable to defend himself."
Transport for Greater Manchester's head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: "This was a disgusting and mindless attack and we are extremely thankful that the victim was able to recover from his injuries.
"I have no doubt that the consequences could have been far worse - possibly even fatal - had the tram driver and other passengers not confronted these thugs when they did."