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Anthony Patton sentenced for role in New Addington tram attack on three Afghan men

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A PROLIFIC criminal has been sentenced to jail for his part in a mistaken revenge attack on three men inside a tram.
Serving prisoner Anthony Patton was today given 12 months for his part in the attack at King Henry's Drive tram stop, New Addington, on October 1, 2011.
The six other defendants in the case, including two youths, all from New Addington, will be sentenced tomorrow.
Croydon Crown Court heard how Patton was among a gang of young men who boarded the tram to attack three men whom they wrongly suspected had attacked one of their friends at a funfair that day.
The defendants wrongly thought the men responsible because they were Afghanistani, and they had been told their friend's attacker was Afghanistani, the prosecution said. 
Patton, formerly of Queen Elizabeth's Drive, was called to the scene "for assistance" in the attack as it was brewing, the court heard.
The victims had boarded the tram hoping to escape, but one of their attackers pulled the emergency cord, stopping the tram moving.
Prosecuting, Teresa Hay said "explosive" violence followed, in which the victims were repeatedly kicked and punched while other passengers cowered.
The tram was so badly damaged it was taken out of service, she added.
Mitigating, David Wood said his client, seen on CCTV brandishing a stick, had "nothing to do with the build-up to this offence."
He added: "He had been wrongly informed that the victims of the attack were in some way responsible for the assault on the younger boy at a funfair, to whom he may have felt an misguided sense of responsibility.
"It does not excuse what he did, but it was not completely mindless.
[…] He may be older but he is in no sense a ringleader."
He added Patton's first child had been born since he started a jail sentence last year for his role in a burglary gang. That had given him "very serious pause for thought" about his life, he said.
Sentencing, Judge Her Honour Shani Barnes said Patton was "a grown man" and should have told the others, aged between 15 and 18 at the time, to "call the police and don't do anything stupid."
She added: "Sadly that was not your reaction and you thought you would go along and get stuck in."
Describing his 28 previous criminal convictions as "appalling," she added: "It seems to me the time has come when you really need to take stock and think about what to do with the rest of your life."
Patton has 15 months left to serve for his part in the gang linked to more than 100 burglary offences in New Addington in 2011.  He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to burgle.
His sentence for the tram attack started today.
To be sentenced tomorrow are Kieran Hawker, 18, of North Downs Road; Aaron Henery, 18, of Milne Park East; Robert Elsey, 19 of Godric Crescent; and Dean Riley, 18, of Cator Crescent.
A court order bans identifying the two youths, who are both 17.
There are others seen on CCTV taking part in the attack who have yet to be identified, the prosecution added.
The victims, a 19-year-old man from Thornton Heath, an 18-year-old man from Streatham and a third unidentified man, were given first aid by officers at the scene. They were not seriously injured.

Anthony Patton sentenced for role in New Addington tram attack on three Afghan men


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