Police were called to Bridge Street in Padiham at 9-42pm on September 30th 2021 after reports the 24 year old victim had been set upon by four men who arrived at the scene in two vehicles.
Two of the men, Reece Murgatroyd (23) from Thompson Street, Burnley, and 29 year old Tom Morley from Reed Street, Burnley, got out of one of the vehicles carrying machetes, smashing the windows of the victim’s car.
29 year old George Barnes from Green Street in Burnley, stayed in the vehicle acting as a getaway driver and Joel Ludlam (27) and from Melrose Avenue in Burnley threw fireworks and a flashbang grenade towards the victim.
Murgatroyd swung the machete towards the victim’s head and, trying to defend himself, the victim used his hand to stop the weapon. This caused deep lacerations and meant the victim needed plastic surgery and physio to help his recovery.
On the day of his arrest, Murgatroyd was spotted driving a Volkswagen Golf, which had been stolen from a house in Accrington three days earlier. Footage showed he was driving dangerously throughout – overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road, driving into oncoming traffic and driving across pavements and fields with little care about potential causalities.
With the help from colleagues at the NPAS (National Police Air Service), police tracked Murgatroyd for almost two hours before he was stopped and arrested.
All four men pleaded guilty to affray with Murgatroyd also pleading guilty to handling stolen goods and dangerous driving, as well as miscellaneous driving offences.
Det. Sgt Sarah Hargreaves said: “This is a fantastic result in which offenders who have posed a significant risk to the public and police for many years are now off the streets for the foreseeable future. East Lancashire is a far safer place for everyone with them behind bars.”
They received the following sentences:
Reece Murgatroyd (03/03/1999), Thompson Street, Burnley – three years two months.
Joel Ludlam (24/01/1994), Melrose Avenue, Burnley – two years six months.
George Barnes (13/10/1992), Green Street, Burnley – two years six months.
Tom Morley (19/01/1993) from Reed Street in Burnley – two years eight months.