Drinking session ends in violence

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THREE members of a gang who beat up a man in his own home after “rampaging” around the property have walked free from court.

Royden Quinn was set about in the upstairs of his home on Rhoda Street, Nelson, after a drinking session in January. His attackers were his partner Jennie Banks’s son, Calvin Banks, his next door neighbour Jackie Driver, her brother Peter Simpson and Kevin Hesselden.

Mr Quinn was punched and kicked in the violence. When he was taken to hospital, he was found to have a fracture to his left cheekbone and a suspected break to his left eye. But there had been trouble the day before and it couldn’t be said the four definitely caused the smashed bone, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Banks (26), of St Philip’s Street and Driver (44), of Rhoda Street, both Nelson, Hesselden (28), of Pritchard Street and Peter Simpson (20), of Spencer Street, both Burnley, all admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Simpson, who is already behind bars until the end of next year, was given 16 months. Banks and Hesselden received 18 months in prison, suspended for two years. Driver was given 18 months in custody, suspended for 12 months.

Mr Mark Lamberty (prosecuting) said it was alleged the victim had made threats with a knife to Driver the night before.

The night of the assault, there was drinking at Mr Quinn’s house. He went to bed about 8pm, and was followed up by Simpson who was angry over the knife threat, woke him up and ordered him to apologise to his sister and kiss her feet.

The victim went downstairs to apologise. In the early hours, he again woke up to find the defendants in his room. He was punched repeatedly to the face and ribs, but managed to get downstairs and was making his way to the front door. He was attacked by all four defendants and Simpson hit him with a chair to the back of the head. Mr Quinn was knocked to the ground and was then kicked. Jennie Banks would say someone stamped on his head.

Mr Lamberty said the victim escaped and called the police from an alleyway, saying he couldn’t see out of his eyes. He went to hospital, where it was found he had suffered the fracture and had bruises. The defendants were arrested and each tried to minimise their parts in what happened. The hearing was told Banks had no previous convictions, but the others have records.

Mr Martin Hackett, for Banks, said: “He was concerned about the influence the complainant in this case could potentially have over his mother.”

Representing Hesselden, Mr David Bentley said he only became involved when the complainant was near the front door by punching him to the upper body. He denied any kicks or stamping.

Mr Mark Stuart, defending Driver, said she was not involved in the assault upstairs. She had not offended until she was 37.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said the defendants had been out of control and violent, largely because they all had far too much to drink.

She said Banks had obviously got a “real problem with this man” and continued: “Your behaviour is nothing short of hysteria. The fact is it’s four against one. It was punching, it was kicking by some of you and it was a joint enterprise.”