A MAN who had been ‘spoiling for a fight’ in a Coventry pub launched an unprovoked attack on someone outside, leaving his victim unconscious with a fractured skull.
And as a result of his injury, Edward Morey’s victim has had to undergo speech therapy and has difficulty recalling certain things – including the name of his son.
Morey (30) of Pool Farm Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said that in March last year Christopher Boothby and a colleague had been working in Coventry, and during the evening they went for a drink in the city centre.
As they were walking past the Philip Larkin pub on the corner of The Burgess and Corporation Street they saw Morey and his friends in an alleyway next to the pub.
Mr Simpson said Morey had been in the pub for at least three hours that evening, and it was observed that he seemed to be ‘spoiling for a fight,’ although he said that would not be inside.
As the two men walked past the end of the alleyway Mr Boothby’s colleague was pushed by one of the group, and turned and asked: “What are you doing?”
At that, Morey stepped forward and challenged him: “I’m on my own, let’s have it.”
As his colleague backed away, Mr Boothby stepped between them to try to calm Morey down.
“But the defendant said something and punched him to the face with such force that it knocked him over and he banged his head on the pavement.”
Mr Simpson said that Mr Boothby, who was unconscious and has no recollection of what happened, suffered a fracture to the base of his skull, bleeding and a bruise to the temple.
He had to undergo a series of CT scans, and the injury has had a profound effect on him, leaving him suffering from memory loss and a loss of concentration.
After the senseless attack Morey, who had three previous convictions for assault and four for robbery, ran off – and made no comment when he was arrested and questioned the following day.
Simon Burch, defending, said Morey’s strongest mitigation was his ‘shocking upbringing,’ during which he suffered ‘the most grotesque abuse’ at the hands of his violent father.
And his mother responded to the abuse she had suffered in a way that left his father paralysed and in a wheelchair until his death on February 11.
Mr Burch said there had been a number of instances of Morey self-harming, ‘and not just by cutting his arm’ – explaining that ‘following this incident the defendant impaled himself on a pole such that it pierced his bowel.’
At the time of the offence he was struggling with his mental health, and after self-referring himself to Heartlands Hospital he was having home treatment while waiting for a bed to become available.
Pointing out that Morey had spent 11 months in custody on remand, Mr Burch suggested he could be given a sentence which would lead to his release, arguing: “The concern is that if the defendant faces further incarceration he will harm himself again in a serious way.”
But jailing Morey, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “You had been drinking for something approaching three hours by the time Mr Boothby passed the pub where you had been drinking.
“You had been expressing the view over the course of the evening that you wanted a fight, so this was not a confrontation that simply arose, it was a confrontation you had been seeking out.
“It has been a life-changing event. Not only was he dealing with pain in the weeks afterwards, thereafter he had to undergo speech therapy and he had to take many weeks off work.
“The impact of that blow has continued to affect his personality, the way he sleeps, his concentration and his memory – he has difficulty on occasions recalling the name of his son, which upsets him and his son.
“This was an assault against a background of sustained hard drinking during which you had expressed a desire to do someone some harm.”