Jailed for his part in revenge attack

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AN Eastbourne man has been jailed for 10 years for taking part in a revenge attack.

Peter Raeburn helped beat and stab a US serviceman who had a brief affair with the wife of one of his friends.

Raeburn, 33, of Macquarie Quay, Eastbourne, had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

At Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, Raeburn was told by Judge David Goodin, “It was a savage and brutal attack.”

Raeburn and his co-defendant Ryan Otto, 32, fled from their victim’s flat in Bury St Edmunds during the early hours of New Years Day, dumping two kitchen knives used in the attack in an industrial waste bin.

Victim Jonathan McNeeley had been drunk and alone at his flat when the two attackers kicked down the door, said prosecutor Christopher Paxton.

He suffered repeated blows and cuts to his head, face and arm. Raeburn picked up two knives before Mr McNeeley was stabbed twice in the back.

The wounds caused both lungs to collapse and were dangerously close to his spinal cord, said Mr Paxton. Doctors described the result of the attack as life-threatening.

Raeburn was arrested on January 2 in Eastbourne by police who had reviewed CCTV from Bury St Edmunds town centre. In interview he admitted having been at the scene but denied the attack.

It emerged Otto had decided to confront Mr McNeeley after seeing a group of his friends drinking in a bar and Raeburn had gone with him.

Earlier Raeburn had been at a New Year’s Eve party at Otto’s house in Airfield Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Paxton said, “This was an attack motivated out of revenge for the brief relationship Mr McNeeley had with Mrs Otto.”

Defending, Neil Mercer said Raeburn’s involvement had been a “moment of madness” which he now regretted. Raeburn had not intended to become involved in any violence and had not taken any weapons to the flat.

Jailing him for 10 years, Judge Goodin told Raeburn, “It was a savage and brutal attack upon a man in his home, in the early hours of the morning, asleep, pretty well unconscious through the consequences of drink.”

Judge Goodin sentenced Otto, who also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, to nine years’ jail.