Man avoids jail after battering friend

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

A DRUNKEN man who grabbed hold of a friend round the neck in a Wigan pub was then repeatedly punched in the face suffering serious facial injuries.

Victim Paul Quinn had been drinking all day at a memorial get together in a social club before ending up with friends in the Ben Jonson Hotel in Goose Green, on the evening of February 1.

I cannot believe what happened to me and the injuries I received all because of some trivial remark I made

Paul Quinn

While in the vaults area of the premises he encountered landscape gardener Thomas Fisher, whom he had known for a decade and always got on with, said Neil Biswarya, prosecuting.

He had always liked Fisher’s house as he was a keen fisherman and the house backed onto the flash and he said to him, “I’m going to have your house” and Fisher took exception.

“Mr Quinn’s next recollection was in a taxi on his way home covered in blood and in a lot of pain.”

He was taken to Wigan Infirmary where he was found to have suffered multiple mid-face fractures, a deviated nose and two black eyes.

He had to undergo surgery and his eye socket had to be rebuilt using titanium gauze.

In a victim impact statement Mr Quinn said that he still experiences pain and numbness down the left side of his face and in his mouth which may be permanent.

He was a keen sportsman but has been warned not to risk getting a blow to his face so can no longer play sport and has been affected psychologically.

“I cannot believe what happened to me and the injuries I received all because of some trivial remark I made about Thomas Fisher’s house,” he stated.

Fisher, 35, of Rushdene, Poolstock, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the basis of excessive self-defence.

After hearing that Fisher had turned his life round after offending when a young man and ran his own landscaping business, Judge Norman Wright sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

He ordered him to pay Mr Quinn £5,000 compensation at £500 a month and to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work with 20 days attendance on a probation course.

The judge warned him if he breaches the orders he will be sent to jail.

“It is a very great shame you reacted in the way you did to what took place and I am sure you regret your actions because of the predicament you find yourself in and the effect on your loved ones from your incarceration.”

Judge Wright said that Mr Quinn had been “drunk, loud and aggressive.

“He acted aggressively towards you and grabbed you around the neck.

“He was clearly heavily intoxicated and you were stone cold sober and could have taken so many other ways to avoid that sort of behaviour but you did not.

“You punched him two or three times.

“I can see you are well built and fit from your work and your fists could cause tremendous damage, which they did.”

Steven Swift, defending, said that Fisher has a settled family life, runs his own business and his highly thought of in his local community.