Burnley man jailed for horror attack on dad-of-three

JAILED: Michael Waddington has been jailed for eight years for attack on Anthony Reid (s)
JAILED: Michael Waddington has been jailed for eight years for attack on Anthony Reid (s)
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A VICIOUS thug who carried out a sickening attack on an innocent dad-of-three, leaving him with a fractured skull and a blood clot compressing his brain, has been jailed for eight years.

Michael Waddington (24) who was on a night-time curfew and should not have been out, believed he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs when he picked on Anthony Reid because he was “seething with anger” after being bottled in a Burnley nightclub.

Mr Reid, who had not been out drinking, was punched and knocked to the ground, his head kicked and stamped on and ended up unconscious and with life-changing injuries in the unprovoked assault in February, the town’s crown court heard.

The hearing was told Waddingon had assaulted another man in the middle of it, leaving the victim for three minutes before returning. The early hours violence was caught on CCTV and witnessed by horrified passers-b who were too scared to intervene.

Mr Reid, who had just set up his own courier business, had to undergo surgery and weeks later his head was still “very misshapen” due to fluid on his brain.

Waddington, of Melville Street, Burnley, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said Mr Reid (29) was standing outside McDonalds and that was all he could remember.

The defendant was filmed leaving Pharoah’s just after 2 a.m. and approaching the victim. He punched him repeatedly, kicked and stamped on him and hit him while he was on the ground, picked him up by his head, slammed it on the ground and head butted him twice after he was unconscious.

Miss Statham said two members of the public saw the latter part of the assault and called the police. When officers arrived, Mr Reid regained consciousness. He was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, where a neurosurgeon reported he had a fractured skull and a large blood clot compressing the brain. The victim was transferred to hospital in Preston, where the clot was removed.

The prosecutor said the long-term prognosis for Mr Reid could not yet be given as more treatment was needed. Miss Statham added: “He can’t sleep at night as he is afraid if he goes to sleep he may not wake up.”

The defendant was arrested outside a taxi office the night of the attack, covered in blood. He told police he had been drinking and would not have been surprised if he had taken cocaine. The defendant had 26 previous convictions.

Mr Peter Lawton (defending) said: “In many respects, he simply cannot understand his own behaviour.”

The defendant had been “utterly horrified” when he saw the CCTV and did not want to watch it as it was played in court. He made no attempt whatsoever to justify his conduct. Waddington had never recovered emotionally from his father’s suicide and sought to escape through drink and drugs.

The barrister added: “The crazed and violent man in that CCTV is not the Michael Waddingon he believes himself deep down to be.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt, who watched the footage, told Waddington he had carried out a brutal and sustained attack on a defenceless victim which was “quite literally sickening to watch.”

The judge said Mr Reid had lost his health and probably his business and had a young family to support.

“Realistically, it’s only thanks to medical intervention you didn’t kill him. You were completely out of control,” she added.

After the sentencing, DC David Greenwood, from Burnley CID, said: “It was an horrific attack. From day one the defendant has clearly shown remorse, and believable remorse. It was good to see the Waddington family consoling the victim’s family.”