A 19-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for more than five years after an attack which left a student in a coma.
And Judge Beverly Lunt slammed prosectors for accepting lesser charges for two other attackers, allowing them to walk free from court.
Patrick James Gavin, of Rhoden Road, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to causing grevious bodily harm with intent after 18-year-old Kyle Broadhurst was kicked and punched while on a night out in Accrington town centre.
Mr Broadhurst, who was a Burnley College student at the time, suffered bleeding and swelling to his brain and had to have reconstructive surgery to his fractured eye socket.
Andrew Piper, 18, of Wordsworth Close, Oswaldtwistle, and Malcolm Ashton, 19, of Stanley Street, Oswaldtwistle, were also arrested on suspicion of affray, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke violence.
They were sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work each.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the three defendents were part of a group who became involved in a dispute inside Bailey’s Bar, in Church Street, Accrington, on February 24.
Later that night, the two groups met again in Holme Street, where Mr Broadhurst was assaulted.
His friend Jack Schofield also received injuries to his jaw.
Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said: “It is accepted that Kyle Broadhurst was knocked to the floor, that he was unconscious on the floor and he was kicked repeatedly whilst he was on the floor.
“It was the sound of the police sirens that seem to have dispersed the group.
“Mr Broadhurst’s progress is quite good, but it maybe up to two years before the damage to the eye is fully repaired.”
Ther court heard he was now attending a university course.
Sentencing him to five years and seven months in prison, Judge Lunt said to Gavin: “You punched Mr Broadhurst, you were kicking him, you were one of several kicking this helpless youth.
“It is disgraceful and serious.”
And she said to Piper and Ashton: “Because of the basis of the plea accepted by the prosecution, my hands are tied.
“I hope this has been a severe lesson to you and I think it has probably scared the living daylights out of you.”
A spokesman for the CPS said: “We believed the pleas offered reflected the criminality that could be established by the available evidence and that the maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment for the public order act offences and life imprisonment for the serious attack also provided adequate sentencing powers to the court.”