Late night row led to assault

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A WIGAN man has told of his regret after hospitalising a town centre reveller with a single punch.

Security guard Roy Rimmer, 25, floored passer-by Andrew O’Brien, 21, on Mesnes Road on the night of October 20 after the victim allegedly tried to stoke up an argument between the defendant and his uncle.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the victim had gone on a night out with friends but blacked out after Rimmer punched him, only waking up some time later in the casualty department at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

Eyewitnesses told how the defendant and his uncle had been arguing about money in the middle of the street when a member of a separate group walking along the street shouted “go on, hit him”.

Rimmer immediately approached the group, shouting “what’s it got to do with you”, before running up to Mr O’Brien and punching him in the face.

The victim collapsed backwards as a result of the blow and witnesses described how the back of his head then “bounced hard” on the pavement.

Rimmer, who had also been out drinking that night, immediately fled the scene.

Mr O’Brien was left sporting a cut lip and a wound to the back of his head which had to be glued together.

He reportedly suffered “significant blood loss”.

Rimmer, of Standishgate, who was cautioned following a similar offence in 2007, gave no comment in interview when he was arrested by police.

But, after pleading guilty to assault occasioning ABH, he told the court yesterday: “I’m ashamed of my actions. I should have just walked away and it’s something I will have on my conscience for some time.

“I was arguing with my uncle and was upset about various things but have no excuse for hitting him because I don’t really know the lad.”

Mark Ferguson, defending Rimmer, argued that the assault would never have happened had Mr O’Brien not interfered in the argument between his client and his uncle.

He said “a degree of provocation” had led to the assault but conceded that it did not excuse his client’s behaviour that night.

Magistrates ordered Rimmer to complete 300 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order and pay £200 compensation to the victim and £85 towards prosecution costs.