Brierfield man behind bars after horror attack on student

Tommy Foley
Tommy Foley

A STUDENT was left bleeding profusely from a head wound after he was hit by a fence post with nails in the end in a late-night attack in Burnley.

The town’s crown court heard how immature lout Tommy Foley had picked up the weapon and hurled it at totally innocent Samuel Swainton, who had been walking home with his friend, Daniel Walsh. Mr Walsh, who had done nothing wrong either, tried to restrain Foley after the assault on his friend, but was punched and given a bust lip.

The hearing was told the defendant, who had been drinking, had been looking for trouble and became abusive, suggesting to a young woman walking with the two victims she would not be safe as the pair were paedophiles and might try to rape her.

Foley (19), of Kay Street, Brierfield, admitted wounding, possessing an offensive weapon and common assault. He was also resentenced for a supervision order he had flouted, which had been imposed for battery and breaching an anti-social behaviour order and which the judge revoked. The defendant was locked up for 16 months.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said, in the early hours of last October 7th, the victims were walking home from an evening out and were heading towards Keirby Walk. They had not caused any trouble. Two men were behind them and a female approached the victims and asked if she could walk with them as she was uncomfortable about the two men. Foley began to shout abuse and suggested she would not be safe.

The defendant then threw a piece of fence panel, with two nails in the end, at Mr Swainton, which hit him on the back of the head. Mr Walsh approached the defendant and was punched once in the jaw. Mr Swainton was taken to hospital for treatment to his head wound. Mr Walsh had tried to restrain the defendant and got him on the ground for a short time, but had to let go as he was worried about his friend. Foley escaped.

Miss Statham said the defendant and another man were seen on CCTV approaching the area of the assaults and police identified him from photos. He was arrested on November 18th and made no comment when questioned. The hearing was told Foley had 20 offences on his record.

Sentencing the defendant, Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “I accept this wasn’t planned violence and there was some remorse, but clearly what you did was reckless and potentially very dangerous. You clearly need to become more mature.”