CCTV evidence boosts appeal

Crime story - below: Kim Winstanley and Neil Shuker

Crime story - below: Kim Winstanley and Neil Shuker

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THE family of a Wigan man serving a jail term for a serious assault claim new video evidence could help their appeal against his sentence.

A jury took 25 minutes to convict Neil Shuker and associate Bradley Phillips of wounding with intent after attacking Brent Croft in the town centre last year.

Kim Winstanley and Neil Shuker

Kim Winstanley and Neil Shuker

But Shuker’s fiancee Kim Winstanley said CCTV footage obtained by the family and not used in the trial has been passed on to the High Court.

Shuker, 28, of George Street, Hindley, had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of wounding but that was not accepted by the prosecution at Liverpool Crown Court in August, and he was jailed for eight years

Kim, 32, told the Evening Post: “No-one has seen this footage until now and it shows what Neil admitted to, that it was not a joint attack and it was not premeditated or planned.

“This was not a joint enterprise and now they are both suffering a very harsh sentence for their first conviction.

“We would like to know why the footage has not been used in the first trial and two new witnesses have come forward.

“We have sent a copy of the footage to the High Court and we’re waiting to hear back on his initial appeal against his sentence. And we are now trying to see with Neil’s lawyer whether we have grounds for an appeal against conviction.”

Ms Winstanley, a mum-of-three, had said previously that her partner was not denying what he did and he had said sorry to the victim’s family in court.

Rugby fan Mr Croft was admitted to Wigan Infirmary shortly after 11pm on the day of the assault deeply unconscious suffering from extensive head and facial injuries. Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said: “It appears he stopped breathing on the way to A&E and a CT scan revealed extension multiple and complex life-threatening facial fractures and possible swelling to the brain. He had lacerations to his scalp and abrasions to his left cornea.”

Witnesses reported seeing the victim being kicked and punched.

When interviewed, Shuker said he had gone into the club with some girls “and the victim was dancing and staring at the girls and he thought the lad was going to hit him and so punched and kicked him once. It was like a reaction.”

Mr Croft has been approached by the Evening Post to comment since the court case but has declined.