Boxer has to quit sport after Burnley street attack

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A young boxer was forced to quit the sport after his jaw was smashed in a drunken, unprovoked street attack and he had to have a steel plate inserted, a court heard.

Aqib Shah (22) was knocked to the ground by plasterer Lee Barrett who then just walked off, leaving him unconscious and seriously injured in the middle of the road on Hammerton Street, Burnley.

Barrett (28) who was wearing a suit and tie, had shaken his victim’s hand after a “coming together” of two groups of lads. He had then moved away, before going back and punching him. Barrett claimed he had been subjected to abuse from Mr Shah’s group, but couldn’t be certain who said it.

The town’s crown court was told how the violence, caught on CCTV, mirrored an assault by Barrett on another man several years ago.

On that occasion, he shook hands with his victim after a verbal exchange, before hitting him.

Barrett had been spared jail for the incident in 2010, but is now starting a 12 month term behind bars.

Barrett, of Mizpah Street, Burnley, had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Shah, last October 19th.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker said Barrett was out with friends when they saw doormen eject an unknown girl from a bar, protested about how she was treated and were not allowed in.

Mr Parker said Mr Shah has gone to the Rum Jungle with friends and as they were coming out, they saw a group of lads they thought had been to a wedding, as all were in suits and ties.

The prosecutor said: “Mr Shah had no recollection of that actually happening. He didn’t see the person that assaulted him. It came out of nowhere. He was aware of coming to on the floor, being surrounded by police officers who had come to his assistance.”

The prosecutor said Barrett received six months in prison, suspended for two years for assault causing actual bodily harm in 2010.

The victim said he had to give up boxing, was still in pain and had numbness due to nerve damage. He was off work for six weeks and lost time at university.

Mark Stuart (defending) said Barrett was self-employed and had a couple of people working for him.

“He doesn’t particularly drink and therefore drink may have affected him on this night perhaps more than it would have affected others.”

The barrister said the defendant, who had children, spent a lot of his time playing football and training.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said she had read “glowing references” on Barrett’s behalf and read a doctor’s letter about his medical issues.

Judge Lunt said the violence was unprovoked and drunken, and others had witnessed what would have been an upsetting incident.

She told Barrett: “You have two previous convictions for violence, from 2009 and 2010. The latter of your previous convictions has a very worryingly similar modus operandi and for that you were given a suspended sentence.”