Victim scarred for life after knife attack: Burnley man jailed

Martin Quigley. (s)
Martin Quigley. (s)

A KNIFE attacker who slashed his victim across the face and left him permanently scarred, has been jailed for six years.

Ex-heroin addict Martin Quigley (36) had had a cocktail of drink and anti-depressants when he lunged at Raimonds Mickevics outside a Tesco store in the early hours. The shop’s security staff knew the defendant, a one-time prolific crook, were trailing him on CCTV and the assault was caught on camera, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told the victim, who had gone to the store with Quigley to get cash to buy a bike off him, suffered a 10cm wound to his left cheek and was bleeding heavily. The defendant had got the weapon from a friend immediately before the violence. Quigley, of Branch Road, Burnley, had admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possessing a bladed article, last November 4th.

Jonathan Clarke (prosecuting) said Mr Mickevics had been drinking during the day on November 3rd. Around midnight, two men arrived at his Burnley home and one of them, Quigley, was trying to sell a pushbike.

They agreed a price of £40 and, each with a friend, went to Tesco to the cash machine. Once there, a dispute arose over cash. The defendant got the knife and went up to Mr Mickevics, who was acting as peacemaker. The victim stepped back, but the defendant slashed him with the knife, gashing his cheek. Mr Mickevics went to hospital. The defendant was arrested and tried to blame the victim.

The hearing was told, after the incident, Mr Mickevics felt he had to leave town as he was afraid. He gave up his job and felt uncomfortable as people asked about the scar.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) said Quigley had been drinking heavily and was on anti-depressants. He had been attacked before and was feeling paranoid. The barrister said: “He accepts his reaction on this particular evening was, in his words, well over the top.”

Mr Holden said the defendant, whose father had died while he had been on remand, had been a prolific offender some years ago and had abused heroin daily. He had gone into rehab after serving a prison term. Quigley had been a burglar but the attack was, to some extent, out of character.

The barrister continued: “He has, to some extent, swapped his heroin addiction to one of alcohol.”

Mr Holden added: “As soon as he was confronted with the CCTV footage and when he saw what he had done, he immediately held his hand up.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt said the victim’s scarring was very visible. She said Quigley had chosen to drink to excess when he was on medication and that was a “fatal combination,” so far as his behaviour was concerned.

“You could have walked away. You walked across to your friend. You weren’t followed, you weren’t threatened. You got the knife and then you came back and deliberately slashed the victim across the face, causing him the terrible injury I have seen.”