A man was left with life-threatening injuries after an attack in Wigan town centre - but the teen who assaulted him walked free from court after a judge heard that his efforts to help his victim may have saved his life and the victim said he did not bear a grudge.
Brett Greenall, 19, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Keiran Edwards last Boxing Day.
You are genuinely troubled by your own conduct and full of remorseJudge Elizabeth Nicholls
Liverpool Crown Court heard it followed an earlier minor incident involving the two strangers in the Attic and Indiependence club in King Street West after which Mr Edwards was ejected by door staff.
When Greenall and his girlfriend left later Mr Edwards was nearby. Words were exchanged but Greenall turned his back to avoid trouble and walked off.
But further down the road the two men had another encounter and Greenall, fearing he was going to be attacked, punched Mr Edwards and head-butted him three times in quick succession. The victim fell to the ground banging his head and was knocked unconscious.
Greenall, of Windermere Road, Ince, put his victim in the recovery position, checked his breathing and waited for paramedics to arrive. Critically ill, Mr Edwards underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain and thereafter he enjoyed a rapid recovery. But prosecutor Charlotte Kenny said he has been left scarred and at risk of seizures. He is wary of socialising as he has been warned a further bang to his head could cause permanent injury.
In an impact statement the 32-year-old victim said he lost his job as he was unable to work for a time which cost him £4,000 but has since got another job. But he added: “I do not hold a grudge against him and I hope he learns from the mistake he made. I just want to move on.”
Judge Elizabeth Nicholls appreciated Greenall was fearful after the club incident, adding: “I accept it began in self-defence but it did not conclude in self-defence.” She said that making sure Mr Edwards received appropriate medical attention “will have saved his life. That reflects well on you and your girlfriend.” She added: “You are genuinely troubled by your own conduct and full of remorse.”
Greenall was sentenced to 20 months’ jail suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and 25 days’ rehabilitation activities. He must also pay £500 compensation to his victim.
Defending, Carmel Wilde said the defendant acted completely out of character.
“He understands alcohol was the trigger and he allowed himself to be provoked.” He had tried to avoid a confrontation but there was a chance encounter and he was shocked and upset by what happened.