Lincs: Man is jailed for attack on his stepfather which could have been fatal

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A West Lindsey man who assaulted his stepfather after returning home drunk has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Ryan Williams carried out the attack on Barry Cavanagh knowing his victim had previously suffered brain damage and any blow to his head could have killed him.

The court was told that the incident occurred after Williams arrived back at the family home in Waterloo Street, Market Rasen, and became argumentative and aggressive.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Mr Cavanagh dialled 999 but then ended the call in the belief that he could handle the situation.

But Williams then began screaming and shouting obscenities causing his victim to take out his phone to again call police.

Williams went on to punch Mr Cavanagh a number of times to the mouth before striking him a further blow knocking him over.

During a struggle that followed a chair was broken before Williams then struck Mr Cavanagh to the head with the blows landing on the left side of his skull.

Williams then walked out of the house.

Mr Howes said: “This was repeated punches to the head knowing that the victim had a pre-existing condition. It is quite clear that the defendant was well aware of the condition suffered by Mr Cavanagh.”

He said Mr Cavanagh’s previous injury meant that any knock to his head could result in his death.

Mr Howes said: “Mercifully the injuries were relatively minor. There was a cut to the lower lip, a cut to the inside of the lower lip and bruise marks to the left side of the face.”

Williams, 26, now living in Paddock Mews, Market Rasen, admitted assault by beating as a result of the incident on 16th April.

He was jailed for four months and given a consecutive four month sentence for being in breach of a suspended jail sentence imposed at Liverpool Crown Court in October 2013 for harassment.

Recorder Stephen Lowne also imposed a restraining order banning Williams indefinitely from contacting Mr Cavanagh.

Recorder Lowne told Williams “You knew that any blow to the head could kill him and with that knowledge you made a determined attack to strike his head. I consider this to be a very serious offence. This could have been a fatality. It could have been manslaughter.”

Gordon Holt, defending, said Williams admitted the offence as soon as he was arrested and accepted he had done it in “drunken anger”.

He said Williams had been diagnosed with depression shortly before the incident.

“Unfortunately on this occasion he had drunk an enormous amount of alcohol. He wishes to apologise through me to all concerned.”