Nelson men jailed for ‘nasty’ assault on victim who refused to mend stolen motorbike

TWO men who took part in an attack in which their victim’s eye socket was smashed with a brick are behind bars.

Wednesday, 25th April 2012, 6:00 pm

Liam O’Callaghan had hit roofer Andrew Bridge in the face with the brick after Kristian Jeffrey grabbed his arms. Jeffrey later punched him and lunged at him.

Mr Bridge, who had feared for his life, suffered a wound over his right eyebrow, swelling, bruising and the fracture. He had to have surgery to have a reconstruction plate fitted and a fragment of bone removed, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told the defendants had tried to recruit “petrol head” Mr Bridge, who had 14 motorbikes, to fix a stolen £1,500 machine, but he had wanted none of it when he found the ignition wiring had been cut. He was then followed, threatened and set upon.

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O’Callaghan (24), of Brentwood Road, and Jeffrey (20), of Railway Street, both Nelson, had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and handling stolen goods last November.

O’Callaghan, who has 116 offences on his record and has been made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order, was locked up for three years. His co-defendant was sent to detention for 12 months.

Miss Lisa Worsley (prosecuting) said Mr Bridge was led to a back yard in Southfield Street, Nelson, by the defendants, who, he would say, were off their heads on drugs.

He refused to fix the stolen bike when he found the ignition wiring was cut and said he was going. O’Callaghan had caught up with the victim, was angry Mr Bridge had told him he was off his head and said he was going to kill him.

Mr Bridge said all he had done was try to help but Jeffrey grabbed his arms and O’Callaghan hit him in the face. Blood was streaming from his eye and the victim feared for his life. Jeffrey pursued the victim, Mr Bridge turned to face him, Jeffrey lunged at him and Mr Bridge hit Jeffrey once, knocking him to the ground. He was then able to escape and call the police.

Miss Worsley said officers went to O’Callaghan’s mother’s home and found both defendants asleep on a sofa. Jeffrey told officers he had been drinking and had taken bubble.

Mr Martin Hackett (for O’ Callaghan) said he was an intelligent man. The barrister continued: “He needs to use that intelligence to look at himself and then use his intelligence to improve himself. He still has ample time to become a useful member of society.”

Defending Jeffrey, Mr Philip Holden said the incident was unpleasant, but over quickly. He added: “They did not lure Mr Bridge there to assault him.”

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said the incident was nasty and serious. He told O’Callaghan: “You have a very large number of previous convictions for violence.”