CCTV footage has been released of the moment Luke Jobson was surrounded by a ‘pack of wolves’ before being chased through the streets of Yarm.
The 22-year-old can be seen running away from the gang as he headed towards safety at a family member’s home in the town in the early hours of January 26 last year.
After a failed pursuit on foot Edwin Taha then returned to a vehicle, which was driven by Ali Abdulmajieed, leading to a further altercation at Yarm School during which Taha sprayed a substance in Luke’s eyes from a bottle he was carrying.
The men then drove away leaving Luke Jobson in the grounds of Yarm School, where he was captured on CCTV entering a boathouse some time later
Mr Jobson was left stumbling around the grounds before tragically ending up in the River Tees, where he body was later recovered.
The 22-year-old’s mother read out a heart-wrenching statement as Taha and Abdulmajieed were sentenced for affray in the minutes leading up to his disappearance.
Speaking after the hearing at Teesside Crown Court, senior investigating officer, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Robinson said: “Police enquiries showed that an altercation had taken place on Yarm High Street, before Luke was pursued by a number of males in a vehicle.
“When these males caught up with him, Luke was sprayed in the eyes with a noxious substance which had an adverse effect on him.
“After days of searching for Luke as a missing person, and days of torture for his family and friends, Luke was sadly found dead in the River Tees. Since that day the lives of his family have never been the same.
“This case highlights that all actions have consequences. Whatever the intentions were of the males who chased Luke that evening, his family have been left without their beloved son and brother, and the impact that this has had on his entire family has been immeasurable.
“Nothing will ever bring Luke back, however now that the criminal case has concluded, we hope that this brings some form of closure for his family and that they can now somehow look to move forwards with their lives.”
Taha was sent to a young offenders’ institute for 21 months for the affray and given an additional four years and four months for the drug charges.
Adbulmajieed, of Corvus Drive, Stockton, also changed his plea to guilty on the day of the trial, was given a 15-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.
Chris Atkinson of CPS North East said: “While Taha and Abdulmajieed have been sentenced today for these charges our thoughts remain with the family of Luke Jobson, for whom this will no doubt be a particularly difficult time.
“While we have proved beyond reasonable doubt that both men were involved in an affray with Luke prior to his death, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest any causal link between their actions and the tragic events which occurred after their attack took place.”