Attack on RL star - jury fails to reach verdict
A jury trying a Golborne man accused of seriously injuring a professional rugby league player outside a nightclub has failed to agree a verdict.
Stuart Johnson is accused of an unprovoked attack on his friend Danny Tickle, who was then playing for Widnes Vikings, which “poleaxed” him.
Johnson has denied the allegations and told the jury that he acted in self-defence believing he was about to be struck.
After six hours deliberations the jury revealed that they had failed to reach a verdict and even with more time could not do so.
28-year-old Johnson, of Grimshaw Court, Golborne, who plays amateur rugby league for the Golborne Parkside team, has been further remanded one bail to await a retrial in the week beginning March 27 next year.
He had pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Liverpool Crown Court has heard that the incident took place outside the Queen’s nightclub in Ashton-in-Makerfield in the early hours of November 1 last year.
The victim suffered a fractured skull and has no recollection of the incident. CCTV footage of the attack has been shown to the jury.
“It was completely and utterly unprovoked. The defendant simply decks him with a right hook to the left hand side of Mr Tickle’s face that completely fells him, poleaxes him,” alleged Henry Riding, prosecuting.
Johnson told the court that he acted in self-defence. He claimed Mr Tickle had invited him to go down the side of the club for a fight and after he declined Mr Tickle approached him and he believed he was going to hit him.