‘Suicide bid’ of prisoner in the dock

Jack Brierley
Jack Brierley

A YOB who left a stranger with a brain injury after battering him about the head with an exhaust pipe desperately tried to flee the dock when the judge told him he was going to jail.

Emotionally fragile Jack Brierley, who had been distraught and weeping throughout the sentencing hearing, then grabbed his tie with both hands in an attempt to kill himself and was shouting that he did not want to live.

A female dock officer, who tried to restrain the Wigan 21-year-old, was knocked to the floor and a burly court police officer immediately rushed into the dock to help while an emergency call was made for further assistance.

In the ensuing chaos Brierley, who was still apparently intent on strangling himself, was shouting out and saying he could not do the sentence just imposed on him and did not want to leave his son.

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones had imposed a five-year seven-month prison term after Brierley, who has anger management issues, had previously admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

His mum and fiancee watched in shock from the public gallery from behind the dock as did the victim, Anthony Jordan, and his wife Karen while the dramatic incident unfolded.

After other security officers quickly arrived Brierley, who at one time had hoped to be a soldier, was overpowered and taken to the cells.

He was heard weeping and repeatedly apologising and the badly shaken dock officer was overcome with emotion.

The judge, who left the bench after the uproar began, had told Brierley, of Benjamin Fold, Ashton-in-Makerfield, that he “had committed one of the most serious offences in the criminal calendar.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the attack happened on November 22 after Mr Jordan and a friend, Martin Walker, were walking along Gerard Street, Ashton, at about 11pm after an evening out.

Brierley drove past and they made a jocular remark about his noisy exhaust which he heard and stopped his car in the middle of the road. He jumped out and went over to them swinging a punch and all three men ended up on the ground.

The trio were separated by others and Mr Jordan and Mr Walker walked off and Brierley, who was very agitated, eventually got back in his car and went looking for them, said Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting.

He found them in nearby Princess Road and jumped out shouting that he was going to kill them and got a heavy exhaust pipe from his boot and hit Mr Jordan around the head with it.

“Mr Jordan fell to his knees and Brierley got back in his car and made off but was stopped by police. He said: “Yes I admit it, you can all listen, I hit him over the head with it in self-defence.”

Mr Rogers said that the prosecution accepted that he had only formed the intent to cause grievous bodily harm after getting out of the vehicle.

The 41-year-old victim, who lives in the town, suffered a fractured skill and a 10cm gash to his head and bruising and swelling to his arm and was kept in hospital for two days.

The court heard that he has since been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury resulting in tinnitus, depression and anxiety. He has also suffered financially as a result of being unable to work and in an impact statement his wife told how there has been a severe personality change in him.

Joseph Kotrie-Monson, defending, said that Brierley, who has no previous convictions, suffers from ADHD and also a condition called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

He had suffered a black eye after the initial scuffle and went looking to remonstrate with the two men but on finding them, because of his mental conditions, perceived danger and armed himself with the weapon.

He had worked all his life and at one time stopped taking his medication as he wanted to join the Army though that would never have been an appropriate career.

Mr Kotrie-Monson said that Brierley will represent a suicide risk in prison and had attempted self-immolation in the past.

Judge Trevor-Jones said that Brierley had struck the victim between two to four times and the consequences have been severe.

He said: “You are described as having very high anger and aggressive characteristics.”