Thug at­tacked cousin dur­ing fam­ily party

Rossendale Free Press - - Memory Lane - Jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

JON MACPHER­SON

ADRUNK thug who re­peat­edly punched his cousin at a fam­ily birth­day party has avoided jail.

Shane Mer­ry­weather was at­tacked by Saul Stan­ton out­side a house in Bacup on the af­ter­noon of April 8 last year.

The vic­tim was taken to hos­pi­tal with a frac­tured cheek­bone and ‘ex­ten­sive swelling’ to his face.

Stan­ton, 23, pleaded guilty at Burn­ley Crown Court to ABH and was given a nine-month jail sen­tence, sus­pended for 12 months with a 25-day re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ac­tiv­ity re­quire­ment.

Pros­e­cu­tor Emma Ke­hoe said the in­ci­dent hap­pened af­ter a ‘ con­fronta­tion’ be­tween Stan­ton and Mr Mer­ry­weather’s sis­ter Kerry Mer­ry­weather.

The court heard how the fam­ily were cele- brat­ing a child’s birth­day when Stan­ton ‘ be­came very ag­i­tated and an­gry’.

Miss Ke­hoe said Mr Mer­ry­weather ‘ came to his sis­ter’s as­sis­tance’ and found Stan­ton be­ing held back by an­other man.

The vic­tim was ‘im­me­di­ately at­tacked’ by Stan­ton who punched him to the face in a ‘com­pletely un­pro­voked’ as­sault.

Mr Mer­ry­weather was punched a fur­ther two times be­fore run­ning off to his cousin’s house and call­ing the po­lice.

Miss Ke­hoe said it was a ‘sus­tained as­sault’ and the vic­tim suf­fered ‘a nasty in­jury’.

De­fence barrister Wil­liam Don­nelly said Stan­ton was fined in 2015 for a bat­tery of­fence.

He told the court: “There is an op­ti­mistic pre-sen­tence re­port with a con­struc­tive alternative to an im­me­di­ate cus­to­dial sen­tence.

“Although he thought he was act­ing in self- de­fence he clearly went over and above any­thing that could be con­strued as such.

“It was a fam­ily party when he, and I don’t think he was alone, con­sumed far too much al­co­hol than was good for him.

“He’s a young man. There’s been no [of­fend­ing] thing since this in­ci­dent.”

The court heard how Stan­ton, of War­dle Edge, Rochdale, is await­ing a men­tal health as­sess­ment af­ter re­fer­ring him­self to a doc­tor.

Sen­tenc­ing, Judge Bev­er­ley Lunt said: “You had an ex­cess of al­co­hol in what should oth­er­wise have been a happy fam­ily oc­ca­sion and you com­pletely lost con­trol.

“This was a nasty and sus­tained at­tack on your cousin, re­sult­ing in se­ri­ous in­jury.

“For­tu­nately for you the frac­ture was not of a nature that re­quired surgery.” ● Saul Stan­ton

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