Brain injury fear after pair attack man leaving church

The pair were led handcuffed to the cells at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday. Picture: John Devlin
The pair were led handcuffed to the cells at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday. Picture: John Devlin
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A father returning from church has been left brain-damaged and needing round-the-clock care after two teenagers launched an unprovoked attack.

Ajani Tella was set upon by the two youths – aged 15 and 16 – after one of them swiped his hat from his head.

During the subsequent attack, they kicked the 59-year-old and stamped on his head 20 times as he lay helpless on the ground.

A judge heard that Mr Tella suffered brain damage and remains in hospital. He may end up in a nursing home as he is now unable to care for himself.

His attackers – who cannot be named for legal reasons – face a lengthy spell of detention after they both pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

The pair – who will be sentenced in the New Year – showed no emotion as they were led handcuffed to the cells at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday.

Mr Tella was attacked as he returned home from a night-time vigil at his local church in the early hours of 1 August this year.

He was at the stairs at the entrance to his flat in Edgefauld Road, Springburn, when the two youths and a girl came out.

As they passed Mr Tella, the 16-year-old youth suddenly grabbed his hat, the court heard.

Mr Tella – fearing the worst – yelled for help as the two youths began kicking him on the head and body.

The girl tried in vain to stop the attack.

The court was told she was “physically sick” when she realised what was happening.

The two youths eventually sprinted from the scene leaving Mr Tella for dead.

Prosecutor Stewart Ronnie told the court the victim is ­likely to be severely disabled for the rest of his life as a result of his ordeal.

Mr Ronnie added: “It is unlikely that he will ever be able to live independently again. It is unclear if he will ever be able to communicate effectively ever again.”

Mr Tella – a Nigerian who has lived in the UK for 16 years – remains in intensive care while awaiting transfer to a specialised rehabilitation unit.

The court heard his wife has also been in hospital for several months – for an undisclosed reason – resulting in their teenage son being looked after by the local church.