Thug stamped on his unconscious victim outside Wigan nightspot
A rugby player and a professional showjumper left a nightclubber battered and unconscious outside a Wigan venue after a violent clash in the early hours.
RL coaching hopeful Afeez Oderinda escaped an immediate jail term after landing the blow which felled Matthew Farrimond, close to Bamboogie in King Street.
But Wesley Thomasson, who stamped on the victim while he was lying helpless on the ground, was jailed for 27 months at Bolton Crown Court in his absence after jumping bail midway through the hearing.
Passing sentence, Judge Graeme Smith told the court: “Unfortunately this type of incident of serious violence, in the small hours of the morning, outside a nightclub, fuelled by alcohol, is depressingly familiar to these courts.”
Thomasson had tried to claim that the incident was sparked off by a racist comment.
But this was rejected by Judge Smith after he heard evidence from both parties.
Defence barrister John Batterton, representing Oderinda, said that his client - who lives with his mother in Derwent Road, Hindley - had just started a new job as a labourer.
And he told the hearing that 22-year-old Oderinda was also a highly-regarded rugby league player, who had obtained coaching qualifications and had a bright sporting future ahead of him.
“This is a young man who has made a very serious mistake on a night out who does not have a history for this kind of offence,” said Mr Batterton.
He said the defendant had struck out after he believed he had been struck firstin an altercation outside the club.
Oderinda, who admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, was given a nine-month prison sentence, but the judge suspended it for two years.
Thomasson, formerly from Wigan but more recently of Coop Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Judge Smith said there was no question of suspending 27-year-old Thomasson’s sentence as he had effectively used his foot as a weapon.
He also skipped bail partway through the hearing and so Judge Smith issued a warrant for his arrest.
Earlier, prosecutor Simon Barrett said the attack, which was captured on CCTV, occurred on July 23 outside the King Street nightclub.
The court heard Oderinda could be seen punching Mr Farrimond, who fell to the ground and may have been rendered unconscious by the blow.
Thomasson was observed to stamp deliberately on the victim, who suffered a gash to his head, as he lay motionless on the ground.
Haseeb Yousaf, for Thomasson, said it was clear that his client believed there had been some provocation, even though his explanation had been rejected by the court.
He told the court that his client was a professional showjumper who worked with local youth projects which aimed to steer them clear of anti-social behaviour.
Bamboogie has since closed, to be replaced with a new club called Play and Rewind.