Victim’s injuries so bad he had to eat pureed food

Police incident
Police incident

Two Wigan yobs who violently attacked an innocent man in a nightclub toilet have walked free from jail.

Michael Oakes, 23, of Woodhouse Lane and Ayden Forshaw, 22, of Elm Avenue in Worsley Hall, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the man after they assaulted him on a night out in King Street in April last year.

Judge Timothy Stead, who sentenced the two men at Bolton Crown Court, heard how the victim, Jonathan Swift, was left needing facial surgery after receiving a broken jaw and teeth during the incident at Jaks Rocks and was forced to eat pureed food until he recovered.

Mr Swift, who was knocked unconscious, was saved by a toilet attendant named Samuel Agogo when he stepped in to stop the beating.

Prosecuting, Benjamin Lawrence told the court how the pair had been out drinking on the evening of April 21, 2017 until the early hours of the following morning.

Oakes, who initiated the beating, also admitted to taking cocaine earlier saying it was only “half a gram”.

“The victim was out socialising with friends in Wigan town centre,” said Mr Lawrence.

“He was drinking alcohol but considered himself not to be excessively drunk. It was around 3am. He went into the toilets where he was attacked.”

Mr Swift told police that he had no recollection of the assault but that he was not aware of any problems with the pair before he was punched.

The court heard how Mr Agogo stopped the pair as they made to run off, keeping them in the toilet until a bouncer arrived.

The attendant described to prosecutors how Forshaw had tried to pay him off, saying “let me go, I will give you some money”.

Oakes and Forshaw were at first ejected from the club, but later arrested after Mr Swift attended hospital where medical staff discovered that he had a fractured jaw and fractured wisdom tooth.

He was transported to Manchester Royal Infirmary for urgent facial surgery, which has left a scar on his cheek.

He had to eat mashed-up food while his jaw healed and had to take three weeks off work with his injuries.

The court heard how the 22-year-old Forshaw, a window-cleaner, would be suitable for a weekend curfew but that a custodial sentence would affect his grandparents, who he lives with and cares for.

Oakes, who works in London five days a week on the new Heathrow runway, was described as polite and co-operative with a positive work ethic.

Despite having a previous conviction for battery, the court viewed that the matters were not similar as the latter involved alcohol.

Judge Stead addressed the two men, saying: “I’m expressing the hope that this experience has been a lesson for both of you.”

He told Forshaw that he would not order compensation because “quite frankly, you cannot afford it”, but instead ordered him to pay £450 and gave him a 15-week curfew for Friday and Saturday nights.

Oakes was ordered to pay £1,900, £1,000 of which will go towards compensation for Mr Swift, although Judge Stead did not deem it as the “full measure” that the victim deserved. He was also given a 15-week curfew on Saturday nights only, his only free night of the week to socialise.