Burton Mail - - Front Page - By RICHARD CAS­TLE richard.cas­[email protected]­ @richard­cas­tle85

Vic­tim Shaun Ni­cholls

[My wife] told me it was hor­ren­dous and she couldn’t be­lieve it was hap­pen­ing.

A THUG sud­denly turned on his friend of 20 years and blud­geoned him with a bar stool in front of his hor­ri­fied wife.

Shaun Ni­cholls still has no feel­ing in one side of his face 15 months af­ter “big, pow­er­ful” Stu­art Don­aghue’s sav­age at­tack.

The 51-year-old is cur­rently serv­ing a five-year sen­tence af­ter ad­mit­ting wound­ing with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm.

And now Shaun has spo­ken pub­licly for the first time about the hor­ren­dous as­sault that caused him to lose three pints of blood.

He said the pair had been pals for two decades, hav­ing hol­i­dayed in Benidorm and reg­u­larly go­ing shoot­ing to­gether.

Ac­cord­ing to self-em­ployed ground worker Shaun, 45, they had never had an ar­gu­ment be­fore Don­aghue’s fren­zied as­sault in Septem­ber 2017.

It hap­pened at the Bird in Hand pub, Measham, where Shaun, 42-year-old wife Rachel and Don­aghue were hav­ing a drink to­gether.

They were re­port­edly in good spir­its un­til, Shaun said, Don­aghue re­turned from the toi­let in a fit of rage.

Shaun said: “It hap­pened in about 10 sec­onds – I’ve never seen any­thing like it in my life. I was just in shock.

“He punched me in the face twice and knocked me off my stool.

“While I was on the floor, he picked up the stool and shoved the leg into my cheek.

“Then he started bat­ter­ing me in the head with it, knock­ing me out with the sec­ond blow.

“I was lucky the land­lord ran round from be­hind the bar and shoved him away, or he’d have just kept hit­ting me.”

Measham man Shaun woke up at Queen’s Med­i­cal Cen­tre, Not­ting­ham, where he had to be kept in for three days.

Even now, he is left with ma­jor scar­ring on his head and ma­jor nerve dam­age in his cheek.

Shaun says his chil­dren – eightyear-old Ruben and 10-year-old

Mary – were re­duced to tears when they saw the dam­age Don­aghue had done.

Shaun, of Bur­ton Road, said: “I’m just lucky my boy didn’t see it hap­pen.

“He was play­ing out­side the pub at the time. It’s not nice for them to see.

“I have to tell them I sus­tained

th­ese in­juries fall­ing over. You can’t tell them what ac­tu­ally hap­pened.

“Un­for­tu­nately Rachel had to see what hap­pened at close quar­ters.

“She’s told me it was hor­ren­dous and she couldn’t be­lieve it was hap­pen­ing. I’ve been left watch­ing my back all the time – I worry ev­ery time I go to the pub now. You never know what’s around the cor­ner.” Don­aghue, a lift engi­neer from Bur­ton Road, Over seal, was sen­tenced at Le­ices­ter Crown Court last month. Shaun said: “He’s a big, pow­er­ful man and I hope he serves the whole five years. “Hope­fully he’s in with men who can do the same as he’s done.

“When I think of what he’s done to me, it just makes me so an­gry.

“When he does come out, who knows whether he’ll come look­ing for re­venge for me get­ting him sent down,” Shaun added.

“I’m not scared of him though. What­ever hap­pens hap­pens.”


Shaun Ni­cholls, from Measham, af­ter he was bat­tered with a bar stool by thug Stu­art Don­aghue.

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