Groom-to-be savaged in unprovoked attack

Joshua McCormick
Joshua McCormick

A WIGAN groom-to-be whose face was smashed in by a thug on his stag do struggled to make his marriage vows and was forced to eat a liquidized wedding breakfast through a straw.

Philip Bagnall was dressed as Elvis on his night out in Ashton town centre last year when Joshua McCormick inflicted horrific injuries on him in a completely unprovoked attack, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

The 20-year-old assailant from Ashurst Drive, St Helens, was yesterday given a two-year custodial sentence in a young offenders’ insitution.

The hearing was told Mr Bagnalll was innocently standing outside Rainbow Taxis on Wigan Road after his fun night out with friends and relatives when he was attacked.

McCormick punched him once in the face knocking him backwards and he fell to the ground hitting his head.

He suffered multiple fractures to both jaws and had to undergo surgery during a five-day hospital stay.

He was released in time for his wedding two weeks after the early morning assault, but had trouble making his wedding vows and his speech and had to have his expensive wedding breakfast liquidized so he could drink it through a straw.

He and his bride Vicky also had to cancel their honeymoon as they could no longer afford it because he was off work and was not fit enough, said Graham Pickavance, prosecuting. Liverpool Crown Court heard that the then 19-year-old McCormick had drunk five cans of lager, six Jaeger bombs and six vodka red bulls.

“That is an astonishing amount of alcohol. It is no wonder you were behaving badly,” said Judge Brian Lewis.

He told McCormick, who admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm: “You hit him hard to the face for reasons which aren’t really clear. It was completely unprovoked, he went backwards onto the ground where he hit his head.

“You said to the probation officer ‘I’m lucky I didn’t kill him’. You never said anything truer. This court is only too familiar with manslaughter cases that arose in they same way,” said Judge Lewis, who pointed out that the victim had not been causing any problem for anyone.

McCormick handed himself in and was arrested after CCTV images of suspects appeared in the Wigan Evening Post. Judge Lewis said: “This was completely unprovoked violence which people are sick of seeing on our streets.”

Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said that 33-year-old Mr Bagnall had gone out for his stag night to Belle Vue dog races and then came back to Ashton so they could carry on celebrating.

He was wearing an Elvis suit that his friends had got for him and it was while he was waiting for a taxi home in Wigan Road in Ashton in the early hours of November 15 last year that the attack took place. His jaw was broken on both sides and he had a total of three fractures.