Clitheroe Castle grounds attacker is sent to jail

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A “GRATUITOUS”, unprovoked and drunken attack in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle has ended in jail for its perpetrator.

Wayne Jeffries’ victim was taking a short cut through the area early one morning when he was knocked into a wall by the force of a single blow

The offender was given 16 months’ prison by a judge who told him: “Members of the public would be outraged if they thought people who commit this type of offence and who do it repeatedly, don’t receive some immediate, real punishment.”

Jeffries (24), of Holden Street, Clitheroe, had pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm upon his victim, Robert Sellers.

As well as suffering two cuts to the head and a black eye, Mr Sellers had visual impairment for at least some time after. The violence arose around 2 a.m. on November 7th last year.

Mr Bunty Battra, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said Mr Sellers was returning from a night out and walking through the castle grounds when he was approached by a group consisting of males and females. Jeffries was immediately aggressive and squared up to the Mr Sellers, shouting and swearing at him.

The defendant struck out, hitting Mr Sellers with a single blow to the left side of the head, which caused him to bang his head against a wall. Despite the attack he managed to make a 999 call on his mobile phone and followed Jeffries.

Mr Sellers was taken to Blackburn Royal hospital with a cut above the eyebrow and a gash to the top of his head. Since the attack he had not been out with friends and was reluctant to visit the town centre and pubs, for fear of any further assault.

The court heard that Jeffries had previous convictions which included violent offences.

Mr John Woodward (defending) told the court: “The defendant is at a loss as to why he behaved in the way he did.

“A clue to the reason why is drinking too much. That seems a pattern of his offending. That’s no excuse and I don’t seek to put it forward as one.

“He is very remorseful, very sorry for what happened. He can’t remember a great deal about what happened. He knows he is on extremely thin ice and trying the patience of the court.”

Judge Stuart Baker told Jeffries before sending him to jail: “You quite clearly have a problem with drink and when in drink behave in a violent way.

“This was a piece of gratuitous, unprovoked, drunken violence that was completely unnecessary.”