Jail for Nelson brothers who beat up drunk

Daniel Ward
Daniel Ward

Two brothers who beat up a drunk who was living with them in two separate incidents have been sent to prison.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Ryan O’Sullivan had been attacked by Daniel Ward. He was left with multiple cuts and scarred and suffered, he would say, a suspected smashed cheekbone. A month later, Lee Pickard set about him and the victim believed his cheek was broken again.

Lee Pickard

Lee Pickard

Pickard, then half-naked, also turned on the police, assaulting an officer and community support officer, who reported he seemed “almost possessed” and was grunting and frothing at the mouth.

Ward (29) and Pickard, sent down on his 28th birthday, both of Princess Street, Nelson, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. Ward got 28 months, while Pickard, who also admitted assault allegations, received 30 months.

Miss Joanna Rodikis (prosecuting) told the hearing that last October, the defendants and victim had been drinking to excess. Mr O’Sullivan had a drink problem and suffered depression.

The victim was asleep or affected by drink in the afternoon when he was hit repeatedly in the face. He next recalled waking up in hospital with a black eye, cuts, swelling and soreness to his face. A woman in the house had seen Pickard punching the victim but did not intervene as she was frightened.

Miss Rodikis said the witness would say Pickard went outside and threatened neighbours and she went back to try to help the victim.

Police had been called and they found Pickard without his top on, in the street, clenching his fists and very aggressive. He shouted: “Somebody’s going to get it,” rushed towards an officer and hit him in the forehead. The officer was stunned and shocked and a community support officer tried to help as the defendant punched the officer’s chest and arms.

The prosecutor said Pickard struggled violently with the officer and was spitting. The officer tried to take him to the ground, but the defendant was striking out and threatened: “I will bite your face off.” Another officer attended, Pickard was kicking out and tried to headbutt him, but was eventually put in leg restraints.

Pickard was taken to hospital as the police were concerned there was more than alcohol in his system. He made violent threats there and told the officer he had assaulted: “I am going to break your jaw.” The officer suffered pain and swelling. He had been frightened and thought he was going to suffer real harm, but felt his body armour protected him. The community support officer, who had been caught a glancing blow to his head, was physically sick and shocked. Mr O’Sullivan made a complaint of assault, but couldn’t say who did it.

Miss Rodikis said Mr O’Sullivan had been assaulted by Ward last September, again after a drinking session. The defendant had taken him to the ground, grabbed his nose in his teeth and pulled at it. The victim was then hit across the head 10 to 15 times with a sharp instrument. He suffered gashes to his forehead, scalp and nose and, he claimed, a suspected fractured cheekbone. The defendants were both arrested and made no comment.