The baby-faced ‘tyrant’ who grew into a merciless thug
Sonny Grainger is only 21 but has already been in court 20 times
He was the baby-faced boy who became one of the youngest people in Hull to get an Asbo.
And Sonny Grainger is now back behind bars after making his 20th appearance in court this week.
Grainger was jailed for two years and four months for a shocking attack outside a Hull pub which saw him punch a man “for no reason”, follow him, kick him in the head and then brag about the assault to a bouncer.
Grainger, who was the second youngest person in Hull to be given an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo) has previously served two short spells in prison for his behaviour.
He was slapped with the order in 2009 and banned from seven streets after he “terrorised” the Boothferry estate by stealing cars, starting fires, assaulting neighbours and even smashing his own windows.
Neighbours described him as a “living hell”.
‘Wave of terror’
PC Trevor Neeham said at the time: “Sonny Grainger has caused untold misery for the people of the estate. He has been a tyrant to people here.
“On a daily basis we received complaints about his behaviour, it is actually unbelievable how bad this lad was. He has been a one-boy wave of terror.”
He went on to break the terms of his Asbo just two hours after it was served with it, followed by a further five times in 18 months. He was eventually put on a tag.
Kicked out of 7 schools
When he was 13, he assaulted a fellow pupil at Bridgeview Special School, Hessle, after he was caught with cannabis on the premises. At the time, his mother said the order was no longer working and claimed she was not receiving the support she needed to tame him.
Grainger was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), a condition where children have disruptive and oppositional behaviour that is directed towards authority figures.
In 2011, when he was 14, he returned to trouble and was given a second Asbo which lasted for two years after causing problems around the former One Stop shop in Hessle Road.
He was shoplifting, harassing staff and causing damage. By this point he had already been excluded from seven schools.
Just a year later Grainger was sent to a secure children’s home in Leeds after breaching the second order.
At the time, his mother said: “He was very upset when they took him away. He was crying his eyes out.”
She told at the time that her family were not getting enough help with him and her son “knew how to play the system” by a very young age.
Ward councillor Pete Allen said: “I don’t like to see any young lad get sent to a children’s home but if that’s the best thing fro him, it may not be a bad thing if there is a long-term gain.
“Sonny has to take advantage of this opportunity.”
However, he did not and he was soon back in trouble again.
In 2015, when he was 18, Grainger was back at court for attacking a man with a plank of wood after his brother had taken his own life the day before.
Hull Magistrates Court heard how Grainger took his frustration out on a man he mistakenly believed was trying to provoke him. He admitted four charges, including one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of racially aggravated violence.
The victim of the attack suffered a number of facial injuries, including lumps on his head and bruising to his face.
Grainger also admitted racist language towards his victim. He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, as well as a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
In 2015, he was seen in a picture on a Facebook profile with notorious Hull gangster Liam Windas.
The picture, from Sonny’s Facebook page, shows the pair posing with guns and smiling. Windas was jailed for 24 years in October this year after supplying drugs and guns across Hull.
Although Grainger has managed to behave since then it seems his troubled past was never far away.
Attacked man ‘for no reason’
This week he was jailed for causing grievous bodily harm after carrying out the sickening attack outside the King Edward pub in Anlaby Road “for no apparent reason” in the early hours of June 23.
Hull Crown Court heard how, after punching his victim, Grainger then followed him along Anlaby Road before kicking him in the head, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body, leaving him and then going back and moving his unconscious body onto the path.
He then went back to the pub and “re-enacted” the attack to the bouncer.
His mitigation said Grainger had been thinking about his late brother – who’s birthday was coming up – and his former relationship which had recently ended.
Judge Bury said he had gone out to “drown his sorrows.”
Shocking CCTV footage was shown to the court.
Prosecuting, Mr Nigel Clive said the 21-year-old, now of Walsall Garth, had an “unenviable criminal record” who “first came to the court in 2008 to the youth court and he was back before the court regularly”.
Jailing Grainger to two years and four months – half of which he will serve in custody – Judge Bury said: “The incident was an unplanned one and your mental state was not the best that night. The CCTV doesn’t indicate any particular reason why you punched him, but punch him you did. You followed him and caught up with him at a busy junction and approached him.
“This was a repeated assault. You have previous for violence but they are not as serious as this. It is clear you are still young and I accept you are very sorry for what you have done but that doesn’t take back what you have done and for that you have to be punished, although I accept you had emotional issues at the time.”