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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Dad jailed for shattering man’s jaw in attack on Carlisle street

A young father who delivered a single powerful punch to a man he had argued with in a Carlisle nightclub left his victim with a shattered jaw and a fractured skull.

Lee Laurie had to spend two weeks in a Newcastle hospital, spending some of that time in a medically- induced coma.

At Carlisle Crown Court, his attacker, 27-year-old Mark Longworth, wept as he was jailed for a year.

Recorder Paul Lawton said the attack was a “tragic example” of what can happen when drunken young men become involved in violence.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, described how Longworth had been out with friends at the Outrageous bar in Carlisle on the night of April 30 when Mr Laurie approached to demand he buy him a pint and give him a cigarette.

Both men were thrown out after an argument ensued, said Mr Rogerson.

Outside the club, the argument continued but then Mr Laurie crossed the road to get a taxi home.

It was as he tried to get in the cab that Longworth ran up behind him and punched him once, knocking him to the ground where his head banged on the pavement. “Afterwards, Mr Longworth’s friends clapped and patted him on the back,” said Mr Rogerson.

But at The Cumberland Infirmary, Mr Laurie’s condition rapidly got worse, and he was transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Surgeons had to operate to remove a blood clot that had developed on his brain.

Elizabeth Muir, for Longworth, who lives in Highfield Avenue, Leyland, Lancashire, said the case powerfully illustrated the serious damage that result from a single blow.

She said Longworth bitterly regretted that he had not walked away that night, despite being provoked.

Miss Muir said: “He is extremely remorseful as to the injuries. He wishes to apologise to Mr Laurie and he would even like to meet him to apologise if possible.”

A devoted father, and a talented footballer, Longworth had passed up a chance to play in the US so he could be near his son, said Miss Muir.

Respected by his work colleagues, he was not known as a troublemaker.

Passing sentence, Recorder Lawton told Longworth, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm: “There are many reported manslaughter cases with almost identical facts to this case...

“This is a tragic example of what can befall drunken young men who become embroiled in violence.

“I have to ask myself what the public would make of this. It’s the sort of behaviour that has made parts of towns and cities no-go zones at some times of the night for members of the public who want to go about their business and enjoy themselves.”

PColeman@cngroup.co.uk

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