Thug jailed for horror attack

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A man who left an acquaintance with a fractured skull and collapsed lung after a knife attack is starting a seven-and-a-half-year jail term.

The victim Charles Brough had been walking to work with a friend when he heard Lee Barnes calling his name and turned to see him jogging up behind him on Ratcliffe Road, Leigh.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mr Brough, who had known him for years, slowed down for him.

Ken Grant, prosecuting, said that in 2013 they had both been arrested for drug allegations and Barnes was subsequently jailed.

“At the time Mr Brough felt the defendant had some kind of grudge towards him thinking Mr Brough owed him some money.”

Mr Brough believes that was the reason for the attack but at the time did not feel he was in danger from Barnes, he said.

“Barnes approached Mr Brough and said, ‘why are you telling people you don’t owe me money?’ and without provocation or warning the defendant punched Mr Brough to the back of the head using his right hand.”

The victim was shocked and in pain and could feel blood coming from his head.

A brief fight ensued which was broken up by Mr Brough’s friend and the victim then realised Barnes was armed with a small curved blade like a penknife.

Before running off down Oxford Street Barnes said: ”I’ll be seeing you soon.”

Mr Brough did not then realise he had been stabbed but then saw blood on his chest and head.

While cleaning himself up at his friend’s nearby home he saw a puncture wound to his chest and began struggling to breathe and an ambulance was called, said Mr Grant.

At Manchester Royal Infirmary it was found he had been stabbed to the chest and had a collapsed lung.

A CT scan also showed he had a fracture to the back of his skull believed to have been caused by Barnes using the knife as a weapon.

The 23-year-old, of Guest Road, Leigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possessing a knife on August 9.

Jailing him Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said that the incident had involved “a very ugly weapon in the street.”

Although he was only lightly convicted he had been on licence from jail at the time, he said. The judge added that he considered that Barnes was dangerous but because of his age he would not impose an extended sentence.

Martyn Walsh, defending, said that after leaving prison eight months before the incident he had been sofa surfing but has since found his own property and got employment.