A MAN has been jailed for attacking a journalist and leaving him fighting for his life in hospital.
Gary Carter, a freelance reporter who regularly covers both Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic, was found with serious head injuries in Bethnal Green last November.
He was in the capital covering England RL’s test match against New Zealand.
James Flanagan, of Marsden Street, Kentish Town, London, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to two years in prison today.
The court heard how, after delivering his first punch, Flanagan deceptively held out his hand to Gary before lashing out with “punches and upper cuts”.
Mr Carter fell to the ground and a loud crack was heard as he hit the kerb. He was left with multiple fractures to his skull and severe traumatic brain injuries.
The two men were in the same pub as each other before the attack, which happened near Bethnal Green station.
The 36-year-old spent time in hospitals in London and Cambridge before moving back up to Salford Royal.
And, speaking for the first time since the attack, he has posted on his Facebook page saying he has now returned home.
He said: “Firstly let me thank everyone who came to see me in London and Salford Royal.
“Friends, colleagues who I count as friends and the entire rugby league community for everything you have done over the past three months.
“Family were outstanding but most of all thank you to my amazing wife Gemma Carter for her constant love and support over what must have been, frankly, a hellacious time for her.
“The rumours are true. I was discharged from hospital yesterday but still need time to get better with physio stuff.
“Finally, a comment about today’s sentencing. Two years was about what we said would be the sentence.
“So there’s nothing more to add to that. If you’re after a rant, you’re in the wrong place.”