Gang of British teenage girls battered 14-year-old with crowbar

A terrifying gang of teenage girls who battered a 14-year-old girl with a crowbar leaving her with "extremely serious" injuries have been sentenced.

Sophie Burrows and Lauren Coveney, both 19, and a 17-year-old launched the "horrific" attack in a Surrey park before attempting to destroy the evidence in a chilling display of criminal awareness.

Sophie Burrows and Lauren Coveney

The girl, who cannot be named, was left with a head injury, fractured nose, bruised ribs and two black eyes in the brutal assault in a park in Guildford, Surrey.

Left traumatised by the incident, her ordeal went on as she suffered bullying over the assault and had to move schools.

Police said the attack 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 on Friday.

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

Their accomplice, also from Midhurst - who cannot be named due to her age - 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."

More in this Section

Russian woman charged with US election-meddling

ESA scrapped UK scientists’ proposal to land spacecraft on Mercury

Dozens killed as speeding train hits crowd watching fireworks in India

US worried by voter-influence efforts from Russia and China

Breaking Stories

A tempting taste of what is on offer in Dingle

Too much information? Lindsay Woods on 'sharenting'

Graham Norton: ‘If it was hard work I couldn’t do it’

Saying yes to the dress: Behind the scenes at the royal wedding

More From The Irish Examiner