Pair jailed for alleyway punch horror

Crime story
Crime story

A MAN was left fighting for his life after being attacked in an alleyway in revenge for an inappropriate remark he made to a teenage girl, a court heard.

Andrew Ainsworth was punched heavily in the face once and fell backwards fracturing his skull and suffering bleeding on the brain.

“As a result of the fall he sustained devastating injuries,” said Neville Biddle, prosecuting.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that medics were not sure that he would survive but he has done so but has on-going problems.

He had to have titanium plate inserted into his skull but this became infected and it had to be removed.

He has to wait six months before another one can be inserted and meanwhile the top of his head is “squashed in” and he is embarrassed by people at staring at him, said Mr Biddle.

Mr Ainsworth has no recollection of the incident in an alley alongside The Edge public house in Tyldesley and his confidence has been totally destroyed, he added.

His attacker Richard Thomas admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 15 months to run consecutively to a sentence of five years four months imposed for a rape which he committed while on bail for the attack.

Alongside him in the dock was Sylvia Warburton, 36, who had instigated the incident. She denied inflicting GBH but was convicted after a trial and jailed for 18 months.

The court heard that Mr Ainsworth told a 16-year-old in the Gin Pit in Tyldesley that she would look sexier in her school uniform but then tried to apologise for the remark.

She rang her father, who was a friend of Mr Ainsworth, and he said he would have a quiet word to make sure there was no further problems but news of the incident reached Warburton, partner of the girl’s mother, Jacqueline Powell, and she decided to deal with matters.

On March 5 last year she was in her car with Jacqueline Powell and their friend Thomas and while they were parked on the main street in Tyldesley outside the chemist’s, by chance, Mr Ainsworth left the Skenning Bob pub after a couple of drinks.

The car set off and when Mr Ainsworth was spotted walking along and turning into an alleyway the car suddenly stopped and Mr Thomas got out. CCTV footage showed that within 18 seconds he left the car, went into the alley and returned, leaving his victim flat on the ground.

A neighbour raised the alarm and the victim was rushed to hospital. He is still off work over a year later and suffers from depression, said Mr Biddle. “It is accepted by the Crown that the injuries went far beyond what was contemplated,” he explained.

Virginia Hayton, defending 28-year-old Thomas, of Sarah Street, Hindley Green, said, “He got out to teach him a lesson as requested by Warburton. He is full of remorse and there was certainly no intention to cause the catastrophic injuries.”

She said that Thomas, who has young child, had experienced a troubled childhood and began using cannabis when he was nine and alcohol at the age of 11.

Thomas McKail, defending Warburton, of Blenheim Drive, Leigh, said that she was “extremely passionate” and blurred the distinction between caring and controlling.

She is a carer for her teenage nephew and also plays a key role in the lives of others, he added.

The judge, Recorder Jeremy Lasker, told her that he treated her a person of good character and although she had not struck the blow it had been a joint enterprise and she had instigated it.