A simple father of three had one of the worst night’s of his life after a nice evening out when he was beaten and left to die by an unruly group of drunken thugs who had crashed his daughter’s “girl’s night in” with her friends.
Mark Coope, who is 54 and works as a company director, had left his youngest daughter Shannon and five of her friends at home to enjoy pizza and a movie while he and his wife Rachel, 43, and his eldest daughter Heather, 22, went out to a friend’s 60th birthday party.
News of the daughter’s night plans had been posted on Facebook earlier in the day, and a crowd of around 25 teenage boys came together on Mr. Coope’s family home in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
Both a boss of an engineering company and black belt Ju-Jitsu master, Mr. Coope rushed immediately back home after he received an urgent and almost panicked call from Shannon. Once he arrived, he demanded the boys to leave at once, only to be hit on the head with an empty vodka bottle which had been taken from his alcohol cabinet.
The boys had then fled from the property, leaving Mr. Coope in a pool of his own blood. He spent more than five hours in the Royal Oldham Hospital’s emergency department where he was treated for not only a broken nose, but multiple different head wounds.
Aged between 15 and 18, the boys smashed up the front door before helping themselves to everything in Mr. Coope’s collection of wines and spirits. Even Shannon herself received a hit in the face when she tried her best to stop her father from being attacked.
Mr. Coope stated, “If I wasn’t as strong as I am, these stupid boys could have ended up facing a murder charge – given I was hit around the head with a glass bottle. I have never encountered anything like this before.”
He continued, “My daughter is a sensible girl and just wanted a fun, girly night in with her best friends, but unfortunately they made a mistake by sharing it on Facebook and that information ended up in the wrong hands. Whatever some might say, I don’t blame social media for what happened. This was all down to a lack of discipline and respect on the part of those thugs and you can’t blame Facebook for that. Youngsters should be able to share the fact that they are having a nice, carefree and fun time away from the grown ups.”
He also added: ‘She was really quite ecstatic to be left home alone with her friends. She’s a sensible girl, so it was never a problem for her to invite some friends over and we trusted her completely and still do.
‘My wife and I were at a family party with our eldest daughter, and we were having a fantastic time until the phone rang. I took two steps onto my driveway and suddenly, everything turned orange and I was on the floor.
‘My eldest daughter answered, and by her expression, we knew something was seriously wrong.
‘I didn’t know much about what was going on, except she told me we needed to get home immediately.
‘She then explained that a gang had broken into the house and were refusing to leave. She also told me that they had been helping themselves to my alcohol, which infuriated me. How dare they?
‘We ordered a taxi and made our way home as quickly as we possibly could. As soon as we pulled up, I could see a gang of lads scattered about the driveway. There were so many of them, I couldn’t even count them.
‘I took two steps onto my driveway and suddenly, everything turned orange and I was on the floor.
‘I knew that I was bleeding, because I could feel something trickling down the side of my head and onto my cheek.
‘I quickly realised I’d been glassed by my own bottle of vodka, which they’d happily helped themselves to.
‘At that point, I was in survival mode. I think they were pretty shocked that after two nasty blows to the head, I’d actually gotten back onto my feet, and they quickly scarpered. But they could have killed me. I felt sick, and barely knew where I was.
‘As a teacher of Ju-Jitsu I can teach people to defend themselves but there was very little anyone can do against such a cowardly attack. There was just too many of them and there was no way I could defend myself. ‘
‘In hospital the doctors said they couldn’t believe I didn’t have a fractured skull. Those thugs had really laid into me, but luckily, I was fine.
‘I can’t remember if I was smacked in the face or if I fell onto it, so I can’t explain the broken nose. I looked like the Elephant Man, my face was so swollen. But it could have been so much worse. I’m lucky to be alive.’
‘We’re not entirely sure how they found out where we lived, but we don’t blame our daughter or her friends for posting on Facebook. Why shouldn’t they post about the lovely time they’re having?
‘I feel this all boils down to a lack of discipline and basic respect. Kids these days, on the whole, are spoiled brats who have all their own way. We need to bring back Victorian values on discipline.
‘Yes, they were heavy handed, but a smack on the wrists never did me any harm. Kids these days don’t respect the police, they don’t fear them…they get away with everything. They are untouchable and it needs to change. It’s a disgrace.
‘I’m devastated about the alcohol they stole, too. Whilst I’m not a big drinker, I’ve collected these bottles over the years as gifts at Christmas and for my birthday.
‘One bottle was given to me by my mum when my dad died 10 years ago, and I’ve kept it all this time. I was planning to keep it forever, unopened.
‘To me, it’s a cherished memory. To these thugs, it’s a free drink they can neck on a field on a Friday or Saturday night. They just don’t care and have absolutely no respect.
‘It’s a shame that an event like this can happen so easily nowadays. An innocent, girly night in turned into bloody carnage, all because today’s yobs have no respect.
‘They could have killed me, and they have left my daughter well and truly shaken. I doubt she’ll be in a hurry to arrange another ‘fun’ night home alone.’
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police stated: ‘A 54-year old man returned to his home to find a group of 20-25 youths outside in the street.
‘A verbal altercation ensued and the man was assaulted before the offenders fled. Inquiries into the incident are ongoing.’