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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Four years for kicking in man's head outside Cumbrian takeaway

A Workington man who brutally kicked in a rival football fan’s face has been jailed for four years.

Steven Bigrigg photo
Steven Bigrigg

Steven Bigrigg, 51, appeared before Carlisle Crown Court to be sentenced for grievous bodily harm with intent.

The victim was Robert Wilson, who at the time ran the west Cumbria Manchester United supporter’s club.

Bigrigg, of Peter Street, injured him so badly that metal rods needed to be inserted into his face to repair the damage.

He had suffered swelling to the brain, a complex jaw fracture, a fractured eye socket and multiple nasal fractures.

The court heard he has since made a complete physical recovery.

Prosecuting barrister Dick Pinstead admitted that it was actually Mr Wilson who started the trouble, on October 15.

He had been drinking heavily while watching the Liverpool v Manchester United game on a screen at The Grapes pub.

After stopping off at a number of other pubs he went to Sadie’s takeaway to pick up some food. Bigrigg was also at the takeaway, wearing a Liverpool shirt, and the pair started bantering about their teams.

At first it was friendly but then Mr Wilson grabbed Bigrigg in a headlock.

The owner of Sadie’s stepped in but the dispute flared up again when the men got outside.

Mr Wilson tried to goad Bigrigg into a fight and began pushing him.

Bigrigg pushed back and Mr Wilson fell to the ground.

While he lay defenceless, Bigrigg repeatedly kicked him to the head.

Then he collected his food from the wall where he’d left it and headed towards home.

Mr Wilson was left in such a bloodied state that even his own friend didn’t recognise him, Mr Pinstead said.

Bigrigg, a painting and scaffolding contractor at Sellafield, had been due to stand trial on Monday.

He changed his plea to guilty at the last minute and was brought back before the court yesterday for sentencing.

Defence barrister Andrew Carney said his client had simply lost control. Mr Carney told the court: “He did not resort to violence until the very last minute, Robert Wilson is quite a big man and he was truly terrified at the time.”

Mr Carney also spoke of the numerous good character references given on Bigrigg’s behalf and his genuine remorse for the violence.

The judge, Recorder John Murray, accepted that Bigrigg had been provoked.

But said that a family man of his age should have walked away.

He told him: “This wasn’t fisticuffs that was over in a moment but a really nasty and cowardly attack on a man who was already incapacitated.”

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Sergeant George Atkinson said: “The sentence issued today is justified given the violent nature of the attack. The victim had been out to watch a football match and was subject to a vicious assault.

“The investigation team were greatly impressed with the character Mr Wilson has shown in dealing with this traumatic incident, which has had a great impact on his life.”

Detective Chief Inspector Capstick added: “We were heartened by the tremendous community spirit and co-operation from the members of the public who were willing to assist in the investigation leading to an early resolution of the criminal case, bringing some justice to Mr Wilson.”

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