Man admits to assault after photo appeal

The man photographed after an assault outside the Queen's nightclub in Ashton

The man photographed after an assault outside the Queen's nightclub in Ashton

A man has admitted launching a vicious attack after a picture of him taken by his victim’s wife moments afterwards was featured in the local media.

Anthony Pilkington pleaded guilty to causing David Johnson grievous bodily harm outside the Queen’s nightclub in Ashton when he appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The hearing was told he was charged by officers when he handed himself into police just hours after the photo featured in the Wigan Evening Post and on its wigantoday website.

The court heard how Pilkington initially denied attacking the 59-year-old, but confessed after he was shown CCTV footage.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “On February 28 David Johnson had been out with his wife and friends and ended up in Plantation nightclub. At 3am they were getting ready to leave. Mr Johnson was walking in front of his wife. CCTV shows Pilkington standing in the doorway of the club having a conversation with doormen.

“He put his right hand on the back of Mr Johnson’s head and pushed him. He then struck him with his hand. A witness says he slapped him with an open palm.”

The court heard how Mr Johnson fell to the ground, banging his head on the road, and when his wife left the club she “found him with his face down in a pool of blood.” She then took the photo of Pilkington.

Miss Kenyon said the victim suffered a fractured skull, bleeds to the brain and a broken nose. She added: “The defendant handed himself to police when he was linked to the assault because of the press appeal.

“He initially claimed a friend of his assaulted Mr Johnson.”

Pilkington was sent for trial at Liverpool Crown Court on a separate GBH charge which he denies. He was remanded in custody until April 28 for the trial and for sentencing for the attack on Mr Johnson.