Attacker jailed for brutal assault

Jailed: Paul Thompson who left his victim, Michael Parr (below), needing 24-hour care
Jailed: Paul Thompson who left his victim, Michael Parr (below), needing 24-hour care

THE Wigan victim of a brutal attack will need round-the-clock care after he was knocked to the ground by a punch, a court heard.

Michael Parr is still in hospital six months after the incident, and cannot use his right arm or leg. He is deaf in one ear and blind in one eye nor can care for himself and he suffers from epilepsy.

Sentencing his attacker, Paul Thompson, to two-and-a-half years in jail, Judge David Boulton said: “It is difficult, short of death, to imagine more serious injuries.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard Thompson, 37, who had been drinking and taken cocaine, lost his temper with Mr Parr, and video footage showed him punching him in the face.

Mr Parr staggered backwards, and others restrained Thompson, but he broke free and pursued his victim and, out of camera shot, punched him again.

Mr Parr was taken to hospital by ambulance and medics told his horrified family that he was in a coma and might die. A blood clot the size of an orange was removed from his brain and it was three months before he was able to even recognise relatives, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

Unfortunately last month he suffered a relapse after another bleed on the brain and his family have been told he will need 24-hour care and will have epilepsy and possible personality changes.

The 39-year-old victim still has a large hole in his skull following life-saving surgery and is awaiting a further operation to insert a titanium plate. He is unable to stand by himself, is still being fed by tube and will not be able to return to work.

Thompson, of Millers Lane, Platt Bridge, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, for which the maximum sentence is five years.

Mr Pepper told the court that on the evening of July 23 the two men were in the Queens Arms in Walthew Lane, Platt Bridge. CCTV footage inside the premises showed them talking, hugging and shaking hands before Mr Parr walked off.

Shortly afterwards in the early hours of the morning they were seen outside the pub talking and again shaking hands. But when Thompson became agitated Mr Parr backed away into the roadway and Thompson punched him to the left side of his face.

He staggered backwards and others restrained Thompson but he broke free and witnesses saw him punching him again. “He fell to the floor and banged his head with a crack as his head hit the floor.”

The court heard that four witnesses had refused to give evidence and Judge Boulton said he found that “absolutely despicable”.

He told Thompson: “Just before the assault there is a handshake so nothing that had been done prior to that act excused the attack.

“It is seen clearly that Mr Parr backed away from you but you went after him. You punched him sufficiently hard that he was visibly shaken.”

He said he sentenced him on the basis that he followed him and struck him again.

Judge Boulton said that he accepted Thompson was “deeply ashamed and remorseful” for his actions after losing his self-control while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Steven Swift, defending, said that Thompson, has been out of trouble for 10 years after two convictions for assault and has never been to jail. He knew Mr Parr but Mr Parr actually knew his brother better and those two men had fallen out.

Mr Parr repeatedly approached him that night about that argument and invited him outside to settle the matter and he kept refusing. When he left the pub he had no intention of attacking Mr Parr but eventually he lost his temper and self-control.

After the hearing Mr Parr’s father Ronnie said he was disappointed with the sentence but recognised that the judge’s hands were tied by sentencing guidelines.

He said that experts at Leigh Infirmary’s Taylor rehabilitation unit have said that Michael will never walk again, will never be able to talk properly again and will be permanently requiring one-to-one nursing care, 24/7.