Blackpool ‘spice zombie’ dragged stranger into alley and started biting his face

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Lester Downey has been sentenced to six months in a young offenders institute

 

Lester Downey
(Image: Lancashire Police)

A ‘spice zombie’ dragged a stranger down an alley in Blackpool and started biting his face, after wrongly thinking he had bought cannabis.

Lester Downey, 20, drew blood when he sunk his teeth into his victim’s eyebrow and nose.

He has now been sentenced to six months in a young offenders institute after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

He has no memory of the attack, he later told a probation officer.

On September 19 2020, Xavier Campbell was walking home down Palatine Road when he saw Downey shouting.

Mr Campbell thought he was shouting at passing cars, but Downey approached him, saying: “Help, I’ve been sold crack.”

As Mr Campbell started to walk away, Downey hit him around the back of his head and dragged him down an alley.

Downey said: “Call 999 or I will kill you,” and bit Mr Campbell on his left eyebrow.

Mr Campbell frantically called the emergency number but Downey bit him again – this time on his nose.

He then apologised to his victim and sat down on the pavement and waited for the emergency services to arrive.

Members of the public came to Mr Campbell’s assistance, bringing tissues to stem the blood coming from his face.

The police arrived a short time later and arrested Downey.

Mr Campbell suffered a swollen nose, swelling to his eyebrow and broken skin.

In a victim impact statement he told Preston Crown Court he now feels very insecure when he is walking alone and does not trust anyone – particularly young people wearing North Face or dark clothing.

He still has physical scars to his face as a result of the attack, and suffers flashbacks.

Julie Taylor, defending, said Downey has stopped taking drugs. She said: “He is totally ashamed of himself and very sorry for his behaviour.”

She said Downey, of Central Drive, Blackpool, has emerging mental health problems which can not be fully diagnosed until he reaches the age of 25.

Judge Mark Brown, sentencing, said: “This was an unprovoked attack and you rightly accept you have no explanation for it.

“It seems you thought you were getting cannabis but in fact you were given spice, and that caused you to behave in this violent way.

“Nonetheless, it was your choice to take drugs and you must take the consequences for your actions.

“You are 20 years old. The time has come when you need to sort your life out once and for all.

“This was a nasty, unprovoked attack, on a member of the public who did not deserve what he received.

“Biting him at the time of the pandemic, in spite of the particular concerns about Covid, was a particularly unpleasant thing to do.”