A TEENAGER who attacked a man for nothing and left him with a smashed skull in a New Year’s Eve outburst kept his freedom.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Kyle Morgan had punched Paul McLoughlin after picking a fight with a group of youths in a pub in Colne and being thrown out.
The victim fell into some railings and went to the floor while the defendant ran off. Mr McLoughlin was unconscious and there was frothy blood coming from his mouth and blood from the back of his head. The victim, who suffered a five centimetre gash on his scalp, was discharged from hospital but had to go back on January 2nd, because of fluid leaking from his right ear. A scan revealed a chip bone at the base of his skull and internal bleeding.
Morgan, who had a record for violence despite his tender years and had been on licence, should have been recalled afterwards, but hadn’t been. He had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. The defendant (18), then of Castle Street, Nelson, was given 50 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision and alcohol treatment.
He was also banned from premises selling or serving alcohol for a year and must obey an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for six months. He was ordered to pay £500 compensation.
Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Long, who had had to consider if Morgan was dangerous, said he was going to give him one last chance because he was impressed by the steps he had taken to put his life in order.
The judge told the defendant: “It’s fortunate for you Mr McLoughlin made a good recovery. He could equally well have died, in which case you would have been going to prison for a very long time indeed.”
Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said after the assault, the victim was given antibiotics and it was believed the injury would fully heal. The defendant was arrested on February 22nd and made no comment.
Morgan had a record going back to 2008 and which included grievous bodily harm with intent and two offences of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mr Martin Hackett, for Morgan, said the offence was nasty, the one punch had serious consequences and it crossed the custody threshold by some distance.
Since being bailed, Morgan had turned his life around, he had a job and there was considerable hope for the future if he continued to accept the assistance of those who cared for him and loved him. The barrister added: “His record and this aside, it would seem he is a young man of potential.”