Club attack victim needed metal plates in his jaw: court case

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A 43-year-old-man with an exemplary 22 year record in the fire service launched an attack on a man in a Whalley nightclub when he refused to talk to him.

Blackburn magistrates heard when one of the victims friends tried to intervene he was also punched and suffered four fractures to his jaw which required two permanent metal plates to be inserted.

Martin Gordon Westwell (43), of Chestnut Drive, Barnoldswick, pleaded guilty to wounding Christopher Rattray causing him grievous bodily harm, and assaulting Ben Wilson.

Gary Edward Slater (55), of Sycamore Way, Barnoldswick, pleaded guilty to affray. Both men were sent to Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.

Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said Westwell had been on a night out with friends and earlier in the evening had tried to engage Mr Wilson in conversation in a pub.

“Mr Wilson turned his back because the defendant was drunk and he didn’t want to talk to him,” said Miss Allan.

Later, Mr Wilson was in Rendezvous when Westwell again tried to engage him in conversation.

Westwell then punched Mr Rattray causing him to fall to the floor before he attacked Mr Wilson.

Mr Rattray got back to his feet and walked towards the two men and was again punched to the floor.

Slater, who was sitting at the bar, kicked out at Mr Wilson and started throwing punches at door staff when they tried to end the incident.

Miss Allan said as a result of the attack Mr Rattray was in hospital for three days and had his jaw wired up while his injuries healed.

Rebecca Stanton (defending Westwell) said he had 22 years exemplary service in the fire brigade and the incident had been totally out of character.

Dylan Bradshaw (defending Slater) argued that his client could be dealt with at the magistrates court.

“He had nothing to do with the assault on Mr Rattray,” said Mr Bradshaw. “He was sitting on a bar stool when the fight started and he mistakenly thought his friend was being attacked by two men.”

He said Slater had never been in any kind of trouble and had worked at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick for the last 30 years.