Colne ex-soldier jailed for street attack

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

AN attacker who left his victim with a smashed collar bone in an unprovoked and sustained attack, has been locked up for a year.

Burnley Crown Court heard how drunken ex-solider Mark Matthews repeatedly punched Matthew Jenkins and pushed him against a bus shelter. Mr Jenkins also suffered nasty facial injuries and had to have a month off work to recover from the night-time street assault.

Matthews had a previous conviction for grievous bodily harm and since the offence had been in court for threatening behaviour while on bail. The defendant (24), of Ridehalgh Street, Colne, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said the defendant was arrested after a local pub landlord and a police officer recognised him on CCTV footage.

Mr Jenkins had to have his arm in plaster after the break to his collar bone. When Matthews was arrested and interviewed, he exercised his right to remain silent.

Mr Parker said the defendant had five previous convictions and in 2008 had been given 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years with a curfew, which he breached twice, for GBH.

Mr Bob Elias, for Matthews, said his his female companions had a ludicrous argument with Mr Jenkins and he then, drunk himself, joined in.

Matthews was in work, had a young family and had kept out of trouble for three years. He had formerly had a drink and cocaine problem, caused by the stress of his military service, but had sorted himself out. The barrister added: “He didn’t cause the quarrel. He did settle it though in a drunken way.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Matthews the difficulty was previous non custodial sentences had not prevented him from behaving in such a manner. She continued: “The time has come that there has to be an immediate custodial sentence.”