Harborough district teenager jailed after a motorcyclist was blinded in one eye when an egg was hurled at him
He was driving the car as his mates recklessly threw eggs at vehicles as they drove around Market Harborough
A Harborough district teenager has been jailed after a motorcyclist was blinded in one eye when an egg was hurled at him.
Thomas Connors, 18, was driving the car as his mates recklessly threw eggs at vehicles as they drove around Market Harborough.
The gang targeted a string of cars in the onslaught on the night of Friday January 10, 2020, before they ended up targeting motorbiker Marc Toone, 31.
Mr Toone was hit full in the face near his home in Wigston after he had pulled up his helmet visor because it had steamed up – and was blinded in his right eye for life.
Connors, of Mere Lane, Bitteswell, near Lutterworth, admitted a catalogue of offences, including a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm over Mr Toone's devastating injury.
The newly-wed teenage thug also pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage, common assault and assault by beating.
Connors also admitted stealing eggs from the Co-op in Whetstone and driving dangerously - including driving on the wrong side of the road on the night Mr Toone was attacked.
The dad-to-be was locked up for 12 months under a detention and training order.
Connors has never told police who he was with that night – and who hurled the egg which blinded Mr Toone.
He was driving a hired Seat Leon in and around Market Harborough as his partners-in-crime threw eggs at other motorists, the court heard.
Sally Cook, prosecuting, told magistrates Mr Toone was their final victim late that fateful night.
The chef was travelling home from work when he was hit by a missile thrown from a car charging toward him with its full beam headlights on.
Ms Cook said stunned Mr Toone took his gloves off to find blood pouring down his face.
"When he took his helmet off the pain hit him," she said.
Mr Toone, now 33, is now having counselling after suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
Five other egg attacks were carried out that winter night.
A woman driving in Market Harborough said youths pelted her car as she drove along Springfield Road at 9pm.
Ms Cook said the incident seriously shook up her and her daughter – and left her panic-stricken.
Just 10 minutes later another car was attacked on Coventry Road, Market Harborough.
The louts singled out another car on Rockingham Road – causing £2,000 of damage to the paintwork, the court heard.
And at 11pm the youths smashed eggs off their fourth victim’s car windscreen, which luckily escaped unscathed.
They then zeroed in on a pedestrian in Wigston.
Ms Cooke said an egg hit him on the arm like a “rock”.
"He looked down and saw egg on the pavement and on his sleeve,” she told magistrates.
“Fortunately he was wearing a thick coat and there was no injury."
Connors also admitted being involved in two offences the previous month.
Along with two other youths, he stole eggs from the Co-op in Whetstone on Saturday December 14, 2019.
The group attacked a shocked woman as she walked her dog nearby on Wychwood Road at about 7pm.
Ms Cook said three boys ran toward her and she felt what seemed like a “punch” as all three threw eggs in her face - from just three feet away.
Later that night the woman and her husband visited the Co-op to ask if the youths had bought the eggs there.
Staff checked their CCTV system - and found footage of the culprits stealing the eggs.
"The incident left her feeling very shaken and upset,” said Ms Cook.
“Her left eye was sore for several days and her glasses needed to be repaired.
"For more than two weeks she was fearful of going out to walk her dog."
Steve Taylor, defending Connors, said: “The fact of the matter is that there were several passengers in the car which he was driving.
“They were responsible for throwing the eggs.
“At all times he was driving the vehicle.
“His role was crucial.
“They could not have done it without his assistance.”
Mr Taylor added: “He was not the person selecting any particular target to throw an egg at.
“The reality of the situation is that he could not have had any advance knowledge of which targets would be selected or have any control over the point in time at which an egg was thrown."
He said Connors had a tough upbringing and played an “important role” caring for older members of his family.
Connors has just married his girlfriend and they are expecting their first child, said Mr Taylor.
Traumatised victim Mr Toone said after the case this week that the horrific attack has changed his life for ever – and he said he could have been killed that night.
Talking after the devastating incident in January last year, Mr Toone said at the time: “As the car passed me I felt something hit me in the face and then I felt something dripping down my cheek.
“I stopped the bike, took my helmet off and realised my hand was covered in blood.
“I rang my fiancée and all she got was me howling in pain.”
He added: “The fact I have lost vision in my right eye is horrifying and all because of someone’s childish act in a car – it is just stupid.
“And if they do it again, the next person on a motorbike might crash their bike and they might not get up again.”