Guildford crowbar attack teens sentenced

Two teenage girls from Midhurst and one from Guildford have pleaded guilty to attacking a 14-year-old girl with a crowbar.

The victim suffered a broken nose and bruised ribs in what police have called an "horrific and violent assault".

Sophie Burrows and Lauren Coveney, both 19, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched the "horrific'' attack in a Surrey park before attempting to destroy the evidence.

Their victim was left traumatised by the assault and her ordeal went on as she suffered bullying over the attack and had to move schools.

Police said the assualt has had a "profound effect'' on the youngster's life but the gang only handed themselves in after officers launched an appeal to track them down.

The group admitted causing grievous bodily harm and were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court.

Burrows, of Godalming, was jailed for 14 months while Coveney, of Midhurst, was handed a 12-month suspended sentence.

Their accomplice, 17, also from Midhurst, received a 12-month referral order.

Along with Coveney she was also ordered to pay the victim #960 in compensation.

Surrey Police said they assaulted the teenager with a crowbar at Stoughton recreation ground in Northway on the evening of January 9 2016.

Detective Constable Carina Jewell said: "This was a horrific and violent attack which has had a profound effect on a teenage girl's life.

"As well as suffering extremely serious injuries, she was left traumatised by the incident and suffered continued bullying and abuse as a result.

"She was eventually forced to move schools for a fresh start.

"A media appeal was issued following the incident and it was the attention on social media that led to the girls eventually handing themselves in at Guildford Police Station.

"At first they denied using any kind of weapon during the attack but messages were found on all their phones mentioning the assault and the crowbar and how to clean it, and all three were subsequently charged with GBH.''

DC Jewell commended their victim for coming forward and giving evidence against her attackers "under very challenging circumstances''.

She said: "I hope that the sentence handed out today serves as a stark reminder that we will not tolerate violence in our local communities and that we will remain committed to bringing those who commit such offences to justice.''

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